The Blinding of Samson


Rembrandt, The Blinding of Samson, 1636. Städel Museum, Frankfurt.

The Blinding of Samson is a large painting—about eight feet by ten feet— by the seventeenth-century Dutch master, Rembrandt. It depicts the scene in Judg 16 when Samson is blinded by the Philistines after being tricked by Delilah. Designed to appeal to his contemporaries’ interest in the sensational, this is his most gruesome and violent work. The gaze of the viewer is focused by Rembrandt’s use of deep shadow and bright light as well as his manipulation of brushstrokes and the texture of the paint.