after Rubens: the strange story of the Samson and Delilah
 
 

Choose a comparison set (more to be added during Nov) from the drop-down menu below, and click on the thumbnails to view comparisons and our commentary below.

Comparisons Tool / Carpet
 
These are the original comparisons displayed in the "Style and Handling" section of the Flash Movie.

 
  Click on a new detail to compare, and read commentary below:
Head of old woman Detail of head of old woman Detail of carpet Carpet Samson's head Philistine barber's head Old woman's hand Statue of Venus and Cupid
Statue of Venus and Cupid Statue of Cupid Statue of Cupid Samson's foot Samson's foot
 

Carpet

Clothing
Carpet from the Samson and Delilah Clothing from the Portrait of the Artist and his Wife in a Honeysuckle Bower (1609-10), Alte Pinakothek, Munich

On the right we see another example of how Rubens depicts patterns on fabric. Again we find his typically formidable intensity of observation and sheer attention to detail. Note once more the way the pattern convincingly adheres to the material, and the way that material then convincingly recedes through space. This is achieved partly through a phenomenal sensitivity to the effects of light, which he communicates to us through a controlled orchestration of highlights. On the left however, it is impossible to make sense of how the surface of the material is supposed to be receding through space, and in place of the carefully observed effects of light, we have loose, inarticulate dashes of white paint scattered around the carpet.

Also, on the left, the painter appears clearly untroubled by the rather sloppily applied zig-zags around Samsonís foot. The brush has not been lifted from the panel, leaving a line that widens and narrows as it changes direction in a lasting show of laziness not to be found elsewhere in Rubensí ouevre.

Head of old woman Detail of head of old woman Detail of carpet Carpet Samson's head Philistine barber's head Old woman's hand Statue of Venus and Cupid
Statue of Venus and Cupid Statue of Cupid Statue of Cupid Samson's foot Samson's foot