Categories: Paintings |

Susannah and the Elders, Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680).

Oil on canvas, 103.5cm by 150.5cm.

Sir Peter Lely, known chiefly for his superb portraits, only rarely painted history paintings, of which this is an outstanding example. It came to Burghley as part of the extraordinary bequest from the Countess of Devonshire to her daughter Anne, wife of the 5th Earl of Exeter and appears in the Devonshire Schedule of 1690: “A Picture of Susanna and the two Elders in a Narrow Guilt fframe by Mr: Lily”.

It tells the story of the virtuous Susanna falsely accused of promiscuity by two elders whose advances she has rejected.


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