Samson slaying the lion (c.1498) by Albrecht Durer

Samson slaying the lion - Albrecht Durer - c.1498

Artwork Information

TitleSamson slaying the lion
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationBritish Museum, London, UK

About Samson slaying the lion

The artwork “Samson slaying the lion” is a woodcut created by Albrecht Dürer around 1498, exemplifying the Northern Renaissance art movement. It is a religious painting housed at the British Museum in London, UK.

This detailed woodcut features the biblical hero Samson engaged in a fierce battle with a lion. Samson, with his muscular build and flowing hair, dominates the center of the composition, his hands plunged into the lion’s mouth as he uses his immense strength to tear the beast apart, reflecting the biblical narrative of his superhuman power. The lion’s body is finely rendered with a sense of dynamic motion and ferocity, emphasized by its wild mane and the strain depicted in the struggle.

The setting of the artwork places the confrontation in a detailed landscape, filled with intricately drawn trees, shrubs, and distant birds in flight. In the background, one can observe a serene walled city with prominent buildings, which provides a stark contrast to the violent foreground action. The sky above is depicted with careful, linear clouds, contributing to the overall sense of a divinely orchestrated event.

Dürer’s mastery is evident in the balanced composition and meticulous attention to detail. His use of contrasting areas of light and dark enhances the dramatic effect of this scene. The woodcut’s lines are precise and expressive, a hallmark of Dürer’s technique, and there is a notable presence of his monogram “AD” at the lower part of the image, signifying his authorship. This piece not only showcases Dürer’s skill as a printmaker but also reflects the religious and moral themes prevalent during the Northern Renaissance.

Other Artwork from Albrecht Durer

More Northern Renaissance Artwork

Scroll to Top