Giuseppe Nuvolone - inv. 1051

Giuseppe Nuvolone (c. 1619-1703)

Susanna and the Elders
28 x 21 cm
1879 bequest Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli
Inv. 1051

Antique Murano Glass Room
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This small painting shows the known episode, from an apochryphal addition to the book of the prophet Daniel, when two elders surprise the young Susanna bathing and try to importune her, but she resists their flattery. It was a frequent theme in 17th-century painting and Giuseppe Nuvolone tackled it on several occasions. Here the artist has reduced the composition to a minimum, concentrating on the three people, with the two old men behind the biblical heroine, as though to tear away the drapes she is covering herself with and reveal her opulent shape.

Carlo Francesco and Giuseppe Nuvolone were the most well-known exponents of a family of artists originally from Mantua and active in Milan. From the 1630s onwards, they would produce rich and original work throughout Lombardy and into Piedmont. Previously attributed to Carlo Francesco, the panel is now assigned to Giuseppe for its more summary technique and more massive figures compared to those of his brother.