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Jacopo Tintoretto (1519–1594)
Two Studies of Samson Slaying the Philistines (Judges 15:14–19)
Black chalk, heightened with wetted white chalk, on blue paper (faded)
17 1/2 x 11 3/8 inches (443 x 285 mm.)
Thaw Collection, 2005; 2005.234
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The present sheet is among the more than thirty studies Tintoretto and his workshop produced after a wax or clay replica of Michelangelo's 1528 sculptural model for Samson Slaying the Philistines. The spiraling and radically foreshortened figure of Samson wielding the jawbone of an ass atop one of his victims must have held a particular fascination for the artist, who rose to the challenge of producing a two-dimensional image of the sculpture with admirable skill.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.