Painting depicting "Suzanna and the Elders”, painted in 1770 by the Scottish painter Alexander Runciman (1736 – 1785).
In the apocryphal part of the Book of Daniel, the story of the beautiful and pious Susanna is told. While she takes a bath alone in a closed part of the garden, she is besieged by two old judges who have a crush on her. They threaten to accuse her of adultery if she does not respond to their dishonourable proposals. When Susanna refuses, the men indeed sued her the next day. Young Daniel, who is in the audience that day, believes in Susanna's innocence. By questioning both judges independently, he proves their lies, after which they are sentenced to death.
Runciman mainly painted historical and mythological subjects. He spent 5 years in Rome (1767 – 1773) where he painted this work, clearly with the influence of the Italian masters. The story of Susanna and the elders was a particularly popular subject in Baroque painting. Not only the moralizing message played a role, but also the possibility to depict female nudity. Susanna was by no means always portrayed as a chaste victim, but also regularly as a temptress.
After returning from Italy, Runciman spent a short time in London, where he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1772. He then settled in his hometown of Edinburgh where he was appointed "master of the Trustees' Academy"
The pictures are taken in two series, but always with daylight.
- Runciman Alexander (1736 -1785)
- Title of artwork
- Susanna en de ouderen
- Oil on copper
- Not signed
- Total dimensions
- 38.5×33.5×4.5 cm