19th century, Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts and Jewellery

including highly important paintings from The Shill Collection and The Late Sol Munitz Collection, The Dr Johan Bolt Collection of Cape Furniture and The Dr JR and Mary Strong Collection of Chinese and Japanese Ceramics and Works of Art

Cape Town  |  10:00am Mon 18 Mar 2019

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Robert Hodgins; Susannah and the Elders
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Lot 598

South African 1920-2010
Susannah and the Elders
signed, dated 2007/8, inscribed with the title and medium on the reverse
oil over graphite and charcoal on canvas
60 by 60cm excluding frame

Sold for R 320 000
Including Buyer's Premium and VAT R 364 160

Estimate R 350 000 - 450 000


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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.



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