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French tapestry, Susanna and the Elders
Biblical - Historical - Mythologic
XVIII Century
Material and technique
wool and silk
cm 320x470
Alessandro Zuccari

The scene at the centre of the tapestry depicts the famous episode in which Susanna, wife of a wealthy Jew of Babylon, is the object of unwanted attention and blackmail by two elderly judges, as narrated in the Old Testament Book of Daniel. The episode is set amidst luscious greenery, with an elaborate French formal garden and imposing country residence glimpsed in the background, slightly to the right of the three figures. On the left, a fountain surmounted by a statue of a triton, water cascading from his horn, completes the image. Susanna is depicted wearing richly ornamented and brightly coloured clothing, an elaborate band round her head, bathing her feet in the fountain.

The tapestry is probably based on a model woven in Brussels at the beginning of the 17th century. The border bears a rich floral pattern with ovals at the centre of each side. In the upper corners are heraldic symbols featuring the French royal fleur-de-lys. This suggests that the tapestry is of French manufacture and was commissioned by the Court around 1750.

Susanna and the Elders
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