Samson was a Biblical hero renowned for his strength in the Israelites’ struggle for independence against the Philistines. His mistress Delilah persuaded him to reveal that his strength would fail if his hair was cut. She then had his head shaved while he was asleep. The Philistines are here seen binding the enfeebled warrior before the delighted, vindictive Delilah. Violent in action and passion, skilful in anatomy and composition, and rich in colour and brushwork, this is a rare British example of the type of pictures which were the sensations of contemporary art exhibitions in late 19th-century Paris.