The story of Susannah and the Elders has inspired artists as diverse as Rubens, Rembrandt and Picasso. Taken from an Old Testament narrative included in the Book of Daniel, the story is to be read as an “example of life and the instruction of manners”. Refusing to succumb to the blackmail of a pair of voyeuristic elders who watched her bathe alone, Susannah was falsely accused of promiscuity and sentenced to death. Prompted by God, Daniel intervened, demanding that the elders’ story be verified. Once separated and their stories differing, Susannah’s dignity is restored and her life spared whilst the elders are sent for execution.
Combining abstraction with his figural representation, this is Hodgins’ characteristically witty take on this rich biblical theme, presenting the moment in the allegory when Susannah bathes in the nude and is first spied by the lecherous elders, depicted by cylindrical tubes who don sunglasses.