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Jan van Noordt created essentially the most flamboyant and expressive work of the Dutch Golden Age. David de Witt untangles truth from fiction during this finished learn of the lifestyles and paintings of Jan van Noordt, delivering a close biography in keeping with a radical evaluate of the documentary facts.

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The tale highlights the specific prophetic perception of the younger Daniel up to the faithfulness and chastity of Susanna. Susanna was once the most well-liked biblical subject between Dutch painters of the 17th century. 70 For a proof Eric Jan Sluijter pointed to the story’s power for the erotic reveal of lady flesh, parallel to the conspicuous collection of subject matters corresponding to The Judgment of Paris and Diana and Callisto out of classical mythology. seventy one certainly, the creative culture for Susanna always favoured the scene of her within the bathtub, partially or totally disrobed. The later, even more modest scene of Susanna’s exoneration via Daniel on the trial was once painted basically seldomly. seventy two Van Noordt conformed to the extra well known culture; in all 3 images Susanna is faced through the elders whereas she bathes. The topic of Susanna didn't basically current eroticism, yet allied it with a transparent, and excessive, ethical exemplum. The specified luck of the tale arose might be out of the hugely charged mix of lering en vermaak, or edification and pleasure, an analogous pair of characteristics that, on a lighter point, characterised such a lot of style subject matters in Dutch portray of the 17th century. seventy three on the subject of Susanna, there have been a number of ethical messages. an important was once the worth of chastity, exemplified by means of Susanna’s maintenance of her sexual purity, even within the face of the specter of sixty seven t h e m e s o f j a n va n n o o r d t ’s h i s t o r y p a i n t i n g s figure 30 Lucas Vorsterman, after Peter Paul Rubens, Susanna and the Elders, engraving, 38. 7 ϫ 28 cm; inscribed: P. P. Rubens pinxit. Lucas Vorsterman sculp. et excud. An0. 1620, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum (photo: RijksmuseumStichting Amsterdam). dying. seventy four Rubens singled out this advantage within the inscription he composed for a print after his layout of Susanna and the Elders (fig. 30). He devoted his illustration of Susanna to the distinguished Dutch poet and pupil Anna Roemers Visscher (1583–1651), who had preserved her virginity by means of now not marrying: To the very selected virgin anna roemers visscher, for the bright eyes of this illustrious Batavian, fluent in lots of of the humanities, in Poetry actually erudite, celebrated for a lot greater than her female good looks, the following this infrequent instance of chastity. seventy five whilst Visscher in flip addressed a poem to Rubens on an unspecified portray the next yr, she didn't point out the organization with the voluptuous picture of Susanna, and he or she didn't appear to item. seventy six still, to many observers on the time, the sensuality of the various depictions of Susanna and the Elders used to be frustrating. In a poem on a portray of Susanna, Vondel praised the protagonist’s attractiveness and chastity, yet closed via reflecting upon the sexually arousing capability of the paintings; he even pointed out the Apostle Paul’s lawsuits approximately his “physical weak point” and the “thorn in his flesh. ”77 The pictorial culture of Susanna gave the erstwhile Reformed minister Jan Evertsz. sixty eight figure 31 Paulus Pontius, after Peter Paul Rubens, Susanna and the Elders, engraving, 36.

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