Painting “Samson and Delilah”, Rubens, 1609

Painting “Samson and Delilah”, Rubens, 1609
Painting "Samson and Delilah", Rubens, 1609 - 1

  • Posted by Peter Paul Rubens
  • Museum: National Gallery (London)
  • Year: 1609

Description of the picture :

Samson and Delilah – Peter Paul Rubens. 1609. Oil on canvas. 185×205

   The biblical hero Samson fell asleep, kneeling the beauty of Dalila, in an almost unnatural position. His mighty body, which defeated many Philistines, was powerless in front of the spell of a beautiful seducer.

   Rubens transfers the place of action to the brothel, retreating from a direct religious plot, he presents his characters as simple historical figures, and puts in the double meaning that is happening. The wisdom of the Holy Scriptures speaks of the dangers of immoderation and of imminent punishment for a person not observing this law.

   The formidable warrior Samson, who fell under the influence of wine and women’s affection, is cut off his hair – the source of the incredible power given to him by God. He faces shameful captivity, blinding and slave labor on his insidious enemies. Warriors with weapons are already entering the door in order to accomplish their “black” business. The invited barber with scissors and the old fondant with a candle complete the sad scene.

   Dalila’s bright red clothes, like a whip of blood, rivets the view of the viewer, silently “dries” about the passions raging on the canvas. Captivity and shame … but not the end of the story. The legendary Samson, being blind, will destroy the house of his enemies, burying himself and the Philistines hated by him under the rubble.