Susanna and the Elders - Werff Adriaen van der

Werff Adriaen van der (1659 - 1722)

Susanna and the Elders

Oil on canvas, 62 x 71 cm

Georgios Averof Bequest

Inv. Number Π.197

The story of Susanna and the two old men who watched her while taking her bath, her trial, based on the false accusations by the old men for adultery, because she had rejected their advances, and her acquittal with the help of the prophet Daniel, were all very popular depictions of the triumph of purity. Becoming a symbol of spousal fidelity from the 16th century on, this was yet another pretext for depicting the female body in a nude, yet decent pose. Susanna and the Elders, donated to the National Gallery by Georgios Averoff, is an example of this iconographic theme, credit for which is hesitantly attributed by Marilena Cassimatis and Angela Tamvaki to the Dutch artist Adriaan van der Werff (Kralingen, 1659 – Rotterdam, 1722).