Solomon Joseph Solomon: Samson and Delilah (1887)
(Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK)
Samson is one of the so-called judges from the Book of Judges in the bible. Samson was given supernatural strength in exchange for abstaining from all alcoholic beverages and not shaving or cutting his hair. Samson performed all kind of heroic things like killing a lion and slaying an entire army with only the jawbone of an ass. At one moment, Samson falls in love with Delilah but Delilah was promised money by the enemies of Samson if she could discover the secret of the strength of Samson. Samson eventually told Delilah that he didn't cut his hair in fulfillment of a vow to God. When Samson was asleep, Delilah cut the hair of Samson and betrayed him to his enemies (this is the moment that we see on the painting, notice the hair which Delilah holds in front of Samson). The enemies of Samson (the Philistines) took Samson prisoner, put his eyes out and brought him to Gaza. After some time the hair of Samson grew back again and he regained his strength. In one final act Samson destroyed the temple in which his captors were by pulling down the 2 central pillars . Painting from 1887.