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Susannah and the Elders

Photo credit: The National Gallery, London

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An apocryphal addition to the Old Testament describes how two lecherous elders threatened to accuse Susannah, a beautiful young woman, of adultery – a crime punishable by death – if she did not give in to their desires. Guido Reni here illustrates the episode: one man grabs at Susannah’s robes and puts his fingers to his lips, commanding her silence, while the other raises a hand, ready to touch her. She grasps at her drapery, attempting to cover her breasts.

The National Gallery, London



Susannah and the Elders




Oil on canvas


H 116.6 x W 150.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1844

Work type



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Normally on display at

The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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