In 1820, it had been a while since someone had painted a Susanna in the bath. The subject had gone out of fashion after the first quarter of the 18th century. Here it got fulminant a return. Most artists either show the elders as voyeurs in the background of whom Susanna is not yet aware, or they show them physically harassing her. Pierre van Hanselaere does neither, but the scared look on the face of his Susanna is more convincing, and impressive, than any of his predecessors managed. He clearly outshines his teacher David here, whose histories were always somewhat posed and unnatural.

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