The J. Paul Getty Museum

Samson with the Jawbone

Object Details

Title:

Samson with the Jawbone

Artist/Maker:

Salomon de Bray (Dutch, 1597 - 1664)

Culture:

Dutch

Date:

1636

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Object Number:

69.PA.23

Dimensions:

64.1 × 52.4 cm (25 1/4 × 20 5/8 in.)

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Object Description

Holding the jawbone as his attribute, Samson looks upward, perhaps to God. The great strongman slew a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass (Judges 15:19). Overcome by thirst, he then drank from the rock at Lechi, a name that also means "jawbone" in Hebrew. Due to a mistaken translation in the Dutch Bible, some artists depicted Samson with a jawbone, rather than the rock, issuing water.

Salomon de Bray used a clear light, plain background, and a half-length composition, showing his awareness of the artistic conventions of the Utrecht Caravaggisti.

Samson with the Jawbone shares the same size, medium, and composition with David with His Sword; they were probably intended as pendants or companions in a series of Old Testament heroes.

Provenance
Provenance
by 1960s -

Private Collection (England), sold to Di Castro & Figlio.

- 1969

Di Castro & Figlio (Rome, Italy), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1969.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Baroque Masters from the J. Paul Getty Museum (February 26 to March 30, 1973)
  • California State University (Northridge), February 26 to March 30, 1973
The Bible through Dutch Eyes: From Genesis through the Apocrypha (April 9 to May 23, 1976)
  • Milwaukee Art Museum (Milwaukee), April 9 to May 23, 1976
Haarlem: The Seventeenth Century (February 20 to April 17, 1983)
  • Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University (New Brunswick), February 20 to April 17, 1983
Bibliography
Bibliography

Fredericksen, Burton B. Catalogue of the Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972), p. 80, no. 101.

Baroque Masters from the J. Paul Getty Museum, exh. cat. (Northridge: California State University, 1973), p. 3, no. 5.

Bader, Alfred. The Bible through Dutch Eyes: From Genesis through the Apocrypha, exh. cat. (Milwaukee: Milwaukee Art Center, 1976), pp. 84-85, no. 37, ill.

Thiel, P. J. J. van. "De betekenis van het portret van Verdonck door Frans Hals: De ikonografie van het kakebeen." Oud Holland 94 (1980), p. 123-26, fig. 14.

Hofrichter, Frima Fox. Haarlem: The Seventeenth Century, exh. cat. (New Brunswick: Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, 1983), p. 65, no. 17, ill.

Moiso-Diekamp, Cornelia. Das Pendant in der holländischen Malerei des 17. Jahrhunderts (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1987), pp. 84, 315, no. S. de Bray B1.

Dirkse, Paul P. W. M., et al. Vermaakt aan de staat: Het legaat Thurkow-van Huffel, exh. cat. (Utrecht: Rijksmuseum Het Catharijneconvent, 1988), p. 13.

Schillemans, Robert. Bijbelschilderkunst rond Rembrandt (Utrecht: Kwadraat, 1989), p. 38.

Slive, Seymour, ed. Frans Hals, exh. cat. (Munich: Prestel, 1989), pp. 200, 201n1.

Gent, Judith van, and Gabriël M. C. Pastoor. "Die Zeit der Richter." In Im Lichte Rembrandts: Das Alte Testament im Goldenen Zeitalter der niederländischen Kunst, exh. cat. Christian Tümpel, ed. (Zwolle: Waanders Verlag, 1994), p. 85n5.

"Bray, Salomon." In Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon (Munich: K. G. Saur, 1996) band 14, vol. 14, p. 32.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 16, ill.

Biesboer, Pieter, ed. Painting Family: The De Brays; Master Painters of 17th Century Holland, exh. cat. (Haarlem: Frans Halsmuseum, with Waanders, 2008), p. 138n1, 138n2, under no. 2.