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Samson Rending the Lion
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Item Details
Public
Available to everyone
Title
Samson Rending the Lion
Work Type
Print Flemish, 16th Century, Bible
Date
ca. 1579
Material
Engraving
Measurements
Image: 8 1/4 x 11 1/8 in. (21 x 28.3 cm) Page: 10 3/16 x 14 3/16 in. (25.9 x 36 cm)
Description
This rare series depicts scenes from the life of Samson, the Israelite hero whose struggles against the Philistenes are portrayed in the Old Testament book of Judges. The prints were engraved by Anton II Wierix, after designs by Jan Snellinck and Martin de Vos. Each print is accompanied by a brief Latin inscription and biblical reference, directing the viewer to passages within the book of Judges. They were created for inclusion in Gerard de Jode's Thesaurus sacrarum historiarum veteris testamenti (Treasury of Sacred Events from the Old Testament). De Jode's Thesaurus was essentially a lavish pictorial Bible, consisting of multiple engraved series, many of which had already been widely published and collected. In this series, imaginative portrayals of Samson's story pull viewers through sweeping landscapes and thrust them into the chaos of conflict. The opposing styles of the two designers, Maarten de Vos and Jan Snellinck, are readily discernable from each other and drive the viewer into and through the narrative. For example, the initial image, The Angel Departing from Manoah and His Wife, was designed in de Vos's typical Romanist style with heightened light and shadow, compositional tension, and a focus on the three foreground figures. The billowing smoke frames the departing angel, who has just informed Samson's rapt parents that their son would "deliver Israel from the Philistenes" (Judges 13:5), a prophecy brought to fruition in the final scene of the series. Alternately, Samson Rending the Lion features a bird's eye perspective on an open landscape with natural and architectural elements, including the tree in the left foreground, that lead the viewer into and through the composition. This is typical of Snellinck's Northern vernacular style, in which a distinctly Flemish landscape dominates. In both cases, as in the remaining prints in the series, Latin inscriptions act as orienting devices directing the viewer immediately back to the biblical text. The choice of the fiery, troubled Samson as a subject is interesting considering the Wierix brothers' own reputation for succumbing to passions and vices. Despite their association with religious subject matter, the brothers often found themselves in trouble with the law. In fact, prolific publisher Christopher Plantin once noted that in order to hire one of the Wierix brothers, one must be prepared to bail him out of jail, sober him up, and buy back the tools that he would have inevitably gambled away.
Repository
Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University
Accession Number
2012.045.001B
Source
Joint purchase by the Michael C. Carlos Museum and the Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University
Photographer: Bruce White
Exhibition History
Mirroring the Saints: The Jesuit Wierix Collection from the Church of De Krijtberg, Amsterdam with Prints from the Michael C. Carlos Museum & the Melion-Clum Collection, Michael C. Carlos Museum, February 15 - June 1, 2014
On View
No
Portfolio/Series
The Story of Samson
Rights
© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2013.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University. This image is available under the ArtStor Digital Library Terms and Conditions of Use only. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University. This image is available under the ArtStor Digital Library Terms and Conditions of Use only. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.
This image has been selected and made available by a user using Artstor's software tools. Artstor has not screened or selected this image or cleared any rights to it and is acting as an online service provider pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §512. Artstor disclaims any liability associated with the use of this image. Should you have any legal objection to the use of this image, please visit http://www.artstor.org/copyright for contact information and instructions on how to proceed.
License
Use of this image is in accordance with the Artstor Terms & Conditions
File Properties
File Name
11008632.fpx
SSID
11008632

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