Susanna said to the maidservants: «Bring me the ointment and the perfumes, then close the door because I want to bathe. » They did as she commanded: they closed the garden doors and entered the house through the side door to bring what Susanna asked for, with out noticing the elders because they were hiding. As soon as the maidservants had left, the two elders came out of their hiding place, ran to her, and said: «Behold, the garden doors are closed, no one can see us, and we are burning with passion for you; consent and give yourself to us. If not, we will accuse you; we will say that a young man was with you, and that is why you sent out the maidservants». Weeping, Susanna exclaimed: «I am cornered on every side. If I yield, it is death for me; if I refuse, I cannot escape your hands. But it is better for me to fall innocent into your hands than to sin before the Lord! ». This is the exact moment depicted by the unknown Venetian painter who made this oil on canvas. The figure of Susanna is here placed at the centre of the composition, caught in the privacy of a small private garden; she is shown naked, her features soft and luminous. The two wily old men catch her from behind, wrapped in heavy, dark cloaks, almost caught up in an evil, exciting desire. Part of the painting is devoted to the depiction of the landscape and of the house of the young woman’s father, Ioackim, represented as a Tuscan Renaissance villa: an explicit mention is made by the clock that stands in the middle of the façade; an illustrious precedent is, for example, the façade of the Medici Villa in Poggio a Caiano by Giuliano da Sangallo.
Bibl.: B. Marconcini, Daniele, San Paolo, Milano 2004.