by 1960s -
Private Collection (England), sold to Di Castro & Figlio.
Di Castro & Figlio (Rome, Italy), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1969.
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Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum East Pavilion, Gallery E203
Samson with the Jawbone
Salomon de Bray (Dutch, 1597 - 1664)
Oil on canvas
64.1 × 52.4 cm (25 1/4 × 20 5/8 in.)
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.
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