Susannah and the Elders (Main View)

Johann Carl Loth

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Two lascivious Jewish judges lean over a voluptuous nude female, bullying Susannah, the pretty and God-fearing wife of a rich and prominent Jew, as she bathes. Though she had thought she was hidden, these elders of the community had spied on her and entered her husband's private garden. She shies away in modesty, refusing their desires despite their threats to accuse her of adultery. When they later brought Susannah to trial, the young prophet Daniel proved her innocence, and her false accusers were sentenced to death in her place.

Johann Carl Loth emphasized the contrast between the characters, depicting Susannah in the bright light of day, while the elders lurk in the shadows. Bold colors and chiaroscuro further intensify the drama of the scene.


  • Title: Susannah and the Elders (Main View)
  • Creator: Johann Carl Loth
  • Date Created: fourth quarter of 17th century
  • Physical Dimensions: 101.3 × 137.2 cm (39 7/8 × 54 in.)
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 69.PA.2
  • Culture: German
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Johann Carl Loth (German, 1632 - 1698)
  • Classification: Paintings (Visual Works)

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