This painting is a rare example of nudity from Spain in the 17th century. According to the Bible, two elders tried to take advantage of the virtuous Susanna while she bathed alone in her garden. The men threatened to say they had seen her with a man if she resisted their advances. Here, the elders encroach upon the vulnerable Susanna, with one assailant’s hand on her shoulder and the other holding down her dress. Susanna hastily tries to cover herself and twists away from the men, reserving an unobstructed look for the viewer in this highly eroticized scene of assault.


  • Title: Susannah and the Elders
  • Creator: Claudio Coello
  • Date Created: 1661
  • Location Created: Spain
  • Physical Dimensions: 49 1/4 × 57 1/8 in. (125.1 × 145.1 cm)
  • Type: painting
  • Rights: Museo de Arte de Ponce. The Luis A. Ferré Foundation, Inc.
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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