Description This painting is from a series of four illustrating a series of critical events in the life of the biblical figure Susanna from the Book of Daniel. The first panel in the series, now at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, shows the beautiful Susanna confronted by two community elders while bathing in her private garden. The elders told Susanna that they would accuse her of adultery unless she submitted to their sexual advances. When Susanna refused, the two men brought her to trial. This is the subject of the second panel, now at the Walters (37.480), in which the two elders are shown delivering their verdict and condemning Susanna to death. The third panel, shown here, depicts the young Daniel halting Susanna’s execution outside the city walls. The fourth panel, also at the Walters (37.490), shows Daniel vindicating Susanna after a thorough questioning of the elders and their subsequent execution by stoning. These paintings are a type of object known as "spalliera" panels. Derived from the Italian word “spalla,” meaning "shoulder," spalliera panels were originally displayed at shoulder height as part of the wall paneling in the room of an Italian palace. The individual compositions may seem similar to those for the fronts of marriage chests but the dimensions are much larger.
Provenance Marquess Filippo Marignoli, Rome and Spoleto, until 1898 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Marquess Francesco Marignoli, 1898 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome, 1899 [mode of acquisition unknown] [1900 catalogue supplement: no. 16]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
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