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Samson and Delilah

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (called il Guercino), Italian, 1591 - 1666

Made in Italy, Europe


Pen and brown ink (possibly iron gall) on laid paper mounted on paper

Sheet: 7 15/16 x 9 9/16 inches (20.1 x 24.3 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Alice Newton Osborn Fund, the Lola Downin Peck Fund, and the John D. McIlhenny Fund, 1994

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The painting for which this work is a preliminary sketch depicts Samson, an Old Testament Israelite judge famous for his great strength, unwisely confiding to his mistress Delilah that his force resides in his hair, which would allow her to cut the potent locks while he slept and betray him to the Philistines. The canvas is recorded as paid for on 31 March 1646 in Guercino's account book.