‘Samson and Delilah’ 1784 by John Francis Rigaud (1742-1810) at The Royal Academy on Piccadilly. Delilah attempts to restrain Samson, but he has broken the ropes around his feet, and he is about to break the one around his wrists. Delilah was persuaded to bind Samson, who loved her, by the lords of the Philistines, who wanted to find a way to overpower him. (The Philistines can be seen hiding behind a curtain on the right). When he posed the model for this painting, Rigaud obviously had the Torso Belvedere in mind, and also, perhaps, Michelangelo’s figures on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Rigaud was of French decent but he spent most of his time in Italy. In the 1760s he settled in Rome and studied the city's art, particularly the old masters, and he attended life-drawing schools. Later, in London Rigaud consistently exhibited paintings at the Royal Academy – showing a total of 155 works there between 1772 and 1815 – "his most lucrative employment, however, was decorative painting for the town and country houses of the nobility. Some of his exhibits at the Academy were studies for ceiling paintings, and in 1797 he showed three works described as "specimen[s] of fresco painting on Portland stone”. The architect William Chambers offered him work in London at Melbourne House in Piccadilly (1772 and 1774) and at Somerset House (1780). He also helped decorate the common council chamber of the Guildhall in London (1794) and Trinity House (1796). According to the Dictionary of National Biography, all these works were "executed in the fashionable Italian style of G. B. Cipriani and Biagio Rebecca, being mostly classical figures and imitations of bas-reliefs".
2,1872622 January, 2019
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Deacy looks so cute in this picture!