Koninck painted two different treatments of Susanna and the Elders: in the present painting, with its magnificent grand-scale composition, Susanna is depicted with soft facial features and semi-clothed in a rich dark-red velvet cloth. The two old men appear like real characters from the ancient Middle East in their attire and headdresses. Another example of this type was in the Schloss Schönbrunn sale in 1930 (1). The other treatment shows a Susanna semi-clothed in white and the elders seen with the characteristic white beard often employed by Koninck, like in his famous Gold-weigher in the Museum Boijmans, Rotterdam; an example of the latter variant, dated 1649, was with Salomon Lilian Gallery, Amsterdam (2).
In 1609 Salomon Koninck was born in Amsterdam, as the son of a goldsmith originally from Antwerp, and was a nephew of the landscape painter Philips Koninck. When Salomon was around twelve years old in 1621, he was apprenticed to David Colijns and to Francois Venant. From 1630 he became member of the Amsterdam branch of the Guild of Saint Luke. Koninck moved in the circles of the academy of Hendrick van Uylenburgh and certainly around Rembrandt, making many copies of the latter's compositions. He married the daughter of fellow artist Adriaen van Nieulandt, Abigael, in 1638, and was later to marry the sister of the winter landscape artist Anthonie Verstralen, before his death in Amsterdam in 1656.
Dr. David de Witt and Dr. Volkert Manuth have both kindly and individually fully endorsed the attribution to the artist on the basis of photographs.
(1) Schloss Schönbrunn sale, Berlin, 24 February 1930, lot 37, illustrated; oil on canvas, 144 x 102 cm.
(2) Signed and dated 1649, oil on panel, 45 x 38,2 cm; W. Sumowski, Die Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler, Landau 1987, vol. III, p. 1644, no. 1095, reproduced.
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