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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