Susanna and the Elders (1621 – 1622) by Anthony van Dyck

Susanna and the Elders - Anthony van Dyck - 1621 - 1622

Artwork Information

TitleSusanna and the Elders
ArtistAnthony van Dyck
Date1621 - 1622
Dimensions194 x 144 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationAlte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany

About Susanna and the Elders

The artwork “Susanna and the Elders” by Anthony van Dyck is a Baroque period oil painting dating between 1621 and 1622. This religious painting is quite significant in size with dimensions of 194 x 144 cm. Currently, it is housed at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, Germany.

In the artwork, one observes a dramatic and emotionally charged scene depicting the biblical story of Susanna, who is accosted by two elders while bathing. The central figure is Susanna, rendered with a palpable sense of vulnerability and modesty as she attempts to cover herself with a draped red garment. Her pose and expression convey distress, contrasting with the lecherous and eager expressions of the two elders looming over her. The elder closest to the viewer gestures, seemingly either admonishing his peer or conspiring about their pursuit of Susanna.

The composition employs dynamic chiaroscuro, a hallmark of the Baroque era, to heighten the emotional intensity and to draw the viewer’s focus onto the figures and their interaction. The bodies are articulated with a robust naturalism, characterized by soft flesh tones that stand out against the darker background and the rich red of Susanna’s garment, indicative of van Dyck’s mastery in rendering fabrics and the human form.

The background features classical architecture and a statue, elements that add to the narrative and provide a sense of depth, while also alluding to the moral and historical context of the story. Through these artistic choices, van Dyck creates not only a representation of a religious tale but also an exploration of human emotions, power dynamics, and the moral complexities inherent in the narrative.

Other Artwork from Anthony van Dyck

More Baroque Artwork

Scroll to Top