Peter Paul Rubens 1577 – 1640

Samson and Delilah

oil on panel (185 × 205 cm) — 1609-1610 Museum National Gallery, London

Peter Paul Rubens biography

This work is linked to Judges 16:19

Tags: Samson

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Samson has fallen asleep in the lap of his beloved Delilah. Not knowing that she works for his enemy, the Philistines, he told her the secret of his enormous strength: his uncut hair. When he sleeps, the Philistines quickly cut his hair.

The statue in the background shows Venus and Cupid, well-known symbols of love. The crossed hands of the Philistine with the scissors stand for deceit.

Rubens made this painting for Nicolaas Rockox, an alderman in Antwerp. It was acquired by the National Gallery in 1980. There is a second version, in the Cincinnati Art Museum.

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