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 / Old woman's hand
 
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
 

Old woman's hand

Old woman's hand
Old woman's hand from the Samson and Delilah Old woman's hand from the Massacre of the Innocents (about 1609), Private collection, on loan to National Gallery, London

On the left is the hand of the old woman in the Samson and Delilah, while on the right the hand belongs to a very similar looking old woman from the Massacre of the Innocents, the painting most often claimed to resemble (and therefore justify) the style of the Samson and Delilah.

Note, however, the assurance of form and anatomy of the hand of the right where we find once more Rubensí typically diligent observation of structure, colour and tonal distribution. By comparison the hand on the left is confused and hesitant in its response to contour, form and anatomy (in particular, note the grotesque thickness of the base of her little finger). On the right, we see the usual rhythmic drawing with the brush: on the left the flow is broken. Equal vagueness is to be found in the indecisive colour transitions and the dead play of light, caused by crudely judged and placed highlights. In addition, these highlights tend to float away from the form.

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