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The Chaste Susanna

The Chaste Susanna

Culture Group: Flemish
Culture: Flemish
Date: c. 1575
Medium: Stained glass and lead
Dimensions:
9 1/4 inches (23.5 cm)
Classification: Decorative Art
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Ella Brummer in memory of her husband, Ernest Brummer.
Label Text:The story of Susanna is narrated in some versions of the Old Testament book of Daniel, including the Latin Vulgate. A virtuous Hebrew wife, Susanna was spied upon by two elders as she bathed in her garden. The men threatened to publically accuse her of infidelity with a young lover unless she agreed to submit to their advances. After the pious Susanna refused, the elders made false accusations of her adultery, and she was arrested and sentenced to death. Daniel, however, questioned the elders and found discrepancies in their stories, proving Susanna’s innocence.

The small roundel in the center of this panel depicts Susanna and the lewd elders in her garden under a tree. The scene was originally painted in grisaille and silver stain on a single piece of glass; the star-shaped lead caming across the center of the narrative is a later repair. The rectangular frame and the diamond pattern surrounding the roundel are also later additions, likely added after the work was removed from its original context. This type of work was commonly displayed in private houses in Flanders and Germany.

Provenance: Purchased December 31, 1945 through (Lion) by Ernest [1890-1964] or Joseph [1883-1947] Brummer; by inheritance to Ernest Brummer's wife, Ella Brummer; gift/purchase 1978 by Duke University Museum of Art, now Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
Object number: 1978.20.12