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The artist was invited to Madrid by Charles II in 1692. Among his official commissions was a group of paintings of biblical subjects in diverse sizes for the Buen Retiro palace (particularly a series of Old Testament scenes for the Hermitage of St John) and for the Palace of the Queen Mother. The composition, showing Delilah cutting Samson’s hair while he lies in her lap and the soldiers approach with ropes, was fairly standard in the seventeenth century.
English Heritage, The Wellington Collection, Apsley House