Tintoretto's Susanna

His Susanna is fat but beautiful.
His elders are frail ghosts - bloodless.

Tintoretto curls Susanna's hair, spreads
her large but fascinating legs carelessly
within a few feet of the ignored ancients.

She towels her right foot, questions her mirror,
casually dangles the left in the pond. The artist
has no interest in the story of the intended rape, the shouting
and weeping, the threat of stoning and the interrogation...

Lovingly Tintoretto inserts, to the left, a stag, and to the right
2 ducks with ducklings, framed delightfully in a space
(an open window) lightly and delicately surrounded with thin trees...

Tintoretto is fixed fascinated, lost in the beauty of the scene;
he sits Joyfully In his garden, while the wretched old men
creep to the valley, are dragged protesting to the stoning.


The writer in the Apocrypha says that Susanna was a very fair woman, and having stated that the 2 elders every day watched her going into her rich husband's garden he declares the elders perverted their minds, failed to remember just judgments, and were inflamed with love for her.

To the artist the ancients are merely a part of the garden, 2 ghosts vaguely associated with 2 other ghosts - Daniel? and the youth supposed to have fled from the garden?

Perhaps Tintoretto suggests there is a problem but ignores it: he lights up the attractiveness of the woman, the richness of her possessions, and the beauty of her garden.