Susannah Accused of Adultery

The Gobelins Manufactory1716

Fundación Banco Santander

Fundación Banco Santander
Madrid, Spain

A hanging of exceptional quality and importance that reflects the Bible episode contained in chapter thirteen of the Book of Daniel.

It was woven from the cartoon by Antoine Coypel (1661-1722), official painter to the regent, Philippe, Duke of Orleáns, later first painter to the King and Director of the Academy of Paris. The picture from which was woven is housed in the Prado Museum.

The tapestry formed part of a series on the Old Testament consisting of six more panels dedicated to Athaliah, Jephtae, Esther, Solomon, Tobiah and Laban; it was rewoven, on a low-warp loom, at least once more, in 1764.

The picture, which is a magnificent exponent of Parisian academicism, captures the moment when Susannah is accused of adultery by the two iniquitous Elders. The scene takes place in an ostentatious setting corresponding, like the dress and the theatrical poses of the characters, to the “grand style”.

The weaver, a Scotsman called Jacques Neilson, discovered a procedure whereby he enlarged the range of the six basic colours that had been used at the Gobelins until then to more than twelve, blending them with light and dark in order to better imitate painting. This procedure led to the loss of tapestry’s own language and brought about its decline.


  • Title: Susannah Accused of Adultery
  • Date Created: 1716
  • Place Part Of: Spain
  • Physical Dimensions: w6200 x h4250 mm (Complete)
  • Manufactory: The Gobelins Manufactory
  • Exhibition: Madrid, Spain
  • Description: Woven on a low-warp loom
  • Credit Line: Mark:, ”Neilson 1716”
  • Type: Tapestry
  • Rights: Fundación Banco Santander, www.fundacionbancosantander.com
  • External Link: Fundación Banco Santander
  • Medium: Wool and silk

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