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How to Read Paintings: Samson and Delilah by Rubens

A remarkable painting depicting superhuman strength stolen by a haircut

Samson and Delilah (1609–1610) by Peter Paul Rubens. Oil on panel. National Gallery, London. Image source Wikimedia Commons

The painting shows a remarkable scene: a man has fallen asleep on a woman’s lap. They are both partially unclothed. Beside them are two figures, one holding a candle to illuminate the lovers, the other taking a pair of scissors to the sleeping man’s hair.




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Christopher P Jones

Christopher P Jones

Art writer, critic, novelist, artist. See my links at

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