Jan Havicksz. Steen ca. 1626 – 1679

The Mocking of Samson

oil on canvas (65 × 82 cm) — 1670 Museum Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp

Jan Havicksz. Steen biography

This work is linked to Judges 16:25

Tags: Samson

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The Israelite judge Samson has been betrayed by Delilah. The Philistines have captured him, and made him blind. Here they let him dance at a banquet, an offering feast in honour of their god Dagon. Children pull strings to make the man that once was invincible move. A dwarf seems to be planning to prick Samson. Delilah is shown as a slut, making an obscene gesture to Samson.

Not much later Samson would perform one last heroic act. He shoved one of the palace's pillars, making the roof come down, killing all Philistines present.

This canvas was attributed to an 18th century painter during most of the 20th century. In 2017 it was rediscovered as an authentic work by Steen.

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