Artworks
Susannah and the Elders
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jtucker's picture

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Here we see Reni’s depiction of the biblical story of Susannah and the Elders. This has got to be a lawsuit waiting to happen. 

One day, Susannah was freshening up and enjoying a nice soak in her bathtub in her orchard. After dismissing her maids, two old creeps appeared before Susannah and attempted to put the moves on her. Due to her sheer amount of self-respect, and the fact that they are old and gross, Susannah turns the men down. Clearly Susannah is very chaste, as you can tell from her smooth ivory skin. The elders on the other hand appear weathered and wrinkled, perhaps from too much perving around.

Either these men aren’t used to rejection or they haven't moved past the elementary school approach of getting girls to like you. Trust me, being mean to us does not make the heart grow fonder. Nonetheless, upon Susannah’s dismissal, the lecherous men accuse her of adultery, which back in the day was a crime punishable by death.

Just before Susannah is stoned to death, Daniel (the main character from the Book of Daniel) appears and suggests that the elders be questioned before they kill her. Upon cross-examination they realize that the elders had lied and then they were put to death. Yay!

The story of Susannah and the Elders appears all over the place in art history. This is one of the most commonly depicted biblical stories in art, and although I love Reni’s rendition of this tale and a good rape revenge, I wish it wasn't a man who came in to save the day. That's the bible for ya!