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 / Statue of Venus and Cupid
 
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
 

Middle section of status of Venus and Cupid

Statue of Seneca
Middle section of status of Venus and Cupid from the Samson and Delilah Statue of Seneca from the The Four Philosophers (1611-12), Palazzo Pitti, Florence

Every single highlight on the right is carefully gradated, a level of accomplishment completely absent from the Samson and Delilah (look, for instance, at the long awkward highlight below Venusí hand to the left). In fact, their intensity seems to be governed by the amount of paint that happened to be on the brush at the time rather than by the precise needs of space, light and structure. The only sense of how the light falls across this object comes from the black shadows cast to the right. Otherwise, there is scant attempt to describe the rest of the way the light falls, i.e. over the contours of the lit surfaces. Compare this with the way the lit contours are carefully depicted through judicious highlighting on the right.

There is no single depiction of sculpture approaching this Venus and Cupid in style across Rubensí entire body of surviving work.

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