Quite in contrast to all the previous treatments of this subject, Jean-Baptiste Santerre’s Susanna is little more than a baigneuse. There is no drama, the elders are hidden in the shadows, this hardly counts as a history painting. Again unlike the previous treatments, Santerre avoids any overt nudity, which may be due to the somewhat pietistic atmosphere of the aging Louis XIV’s court.

Andrea Vaccaro lived 1600–1670 and was active mostly in Naples. Most of his paintings show the classic history motifs.

This is perhaps the strangest Susanna painting I’ve come across so far. The Elders get quite close and personal, more than in any other execution of the motif so far, yet it remains somehow abstract, stylized, like a choreographed dance. The life-size painting is located at the Musée Magnin in Dijon.

Rubens painted several versions of Susanna and the Elders. This is the first one, from 1607/8. It measures 94×66cm and is located in the Galleria Borghese.

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.