Susanna and the Elders

Jean-François Millet, Susanna and the Elders, 1846–49. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.

Millet was raised in a very religious household and was well educated in the Bible and Latin classics. He was no doubt more familiar with Daniel 13 than many artists of his day or any other period. His Susanna and the Elders does not employ traditionally Renaissance Susanna imagery; there are no ointments, or bath attendants for Millet’s Susanna. Here he paints the vulnerability of women with the same blunt realism with which he paints his laborers and peasants in the field.

Jean-François Millet, Susanna and the Elders, 1846–49. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.

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