About this artwork
This panel, made as a sketch for a larger painting com- missioned by the mayor of Antwerp, Nicolas Rockox, demonstrates the influence of the ancient and modern art Peter Paul Rubens studied in Italy. The subject comes from a story in the Hebrew Bible in which the mighty Samson awakes to find that his lover, Delilah, has cut off his hair, the source of his strength. Rubens drew from ancient Roman sculpture for Samson’s contorted pose as he is captured by soldiers, while the strong contrast of light and dark recalls the work of 16th-century Italian painter Tintoretto—for example, Tarquin and Lucretia.
- Peter Paul Rubens
- The Capture of Samson
- Oil on panel
- 19 3/4 × 26 1/8 in. (50.4 × 66.4 cm)
- Robert A. Waller Memorial Fund