Frederic, Lord Leighton Samson Carrying the Gate published 1881

Artwork details

Artist
Date Published 1881
Medium Wood engraving on paper
Dimensions Image: 168 x 187 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Gilbert Dalziel 1924
Reference
A00738
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

This is one of the most powerful designs Leighton contributed to the Bible Gallery. It illustrates an episode from the story of Samson. Trapped in the city of Gaza, surrounded by Philistines who want revenge, Samson decides to frighten his assailants by ripping off the city gates. Here he is shrouded in the enormous gates which he decides to carry on his back to Mount Hebron.

Leighton creates a web of hatching to highlight Samson’s muscular figure. The contrasting areas of light and dark and the strong verticals contribute to the intensity and drama of the biblical subject.

November 2004

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