Samson and Delilah

Albrecht Altdorfer German

Not on view

Within a landscape setting, Samson lies asleep with his head upon Delilah's lap while she, holding the scissors with which she will cut his hair and deprive him of his strength, gestures towards the soldiers in the background who wait to arrest him (Judges 13:16). This autonomous drawing on colored ground is one of four by Altdorfer dated 1506. The fine pen work is characteristic of his early drawings. This drawing is annotated with an unusual, Italianate form of Altdorfer's name, also seen on two other drawings of early date, "Witches Sabbath" and "Allegory with Pax and Minerva," both of which show the influence of Mantegna's designs. This Italianism has been taken as evidence for a trip to Italy, though no such trip is documented.

Samson and Delilah, Albrecht Altdorfer (German, Regensburg ca. 1480–1538 Regensburg), Pen and black ink with white heightening on brown prepared paper

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