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Samson Rending the lion

This woodcut, the carved woodblock for which is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, shows the Old Testament scene in which Samson encounters a roaring lion in the vineyard in Timnah: “The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done” (Judges 14:5-6). 

The woodcut can be dated 1497–8 by virtue of its many similarites with the illustrations for the Apocalypse. It has been convincingly argued that Samson’s head may be a citation of Leonardo da Vinci’s Christ Carrying the Cross, a drawing in Venice which may already have been in the city when Dürerwas first there.

 

The artwork is currently on display in the exhibition "Intellettuali in battaglia. Fama e oblio di due letterati dalla Battaglia di Anghiari all'assedio di Famagosta". 

Artist 

Albrecht Dürer

(Nuremberg 1471 - 1528)

Title

Samson Rending the lion

Date

1497-98

Technique

Woodcut

Size

mm 380x278 (woodblock)

Initialled bottom centre

Credits

Comune di Anghiari - Museo Battaglia Anghiari - Fondo Bagnobianchi