Sansone catturato dai filistei (1619)

Guercino (1591-1666)

Sansone catturato dai filistei (Samson Captured by the Philistines)
Oil on canvas, 191.1 x 236.9 cm
Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York

According to the Bible, Samson, whose strength came from his hair, was shorn by his duplicitous lover, Delilah, and then set upon by the Philistines, who bound and blinded him. The focus of this dramatic and marvelously staged composition—a landmark in the artist’s career—is the vigorously modeled back of Samson, struggling to free himself. It is one of several commissions from Cardinal Giacomo Serra, the papal legate to Ferrara. Serra was a notable collector in Rome and also promoted Rubens. (MET)