Susanna

Media - 1984.136.2 - SAAM-1984.136.2_1 - 53498
Copied Edris Eckhardt, Susanna, 1945, terra cotta, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Dr. Paul A. Nelson in honor of Henry and Lillian Steinberg, 1984.136.2

Artwork Details

Title
Susanna
Date
1945
Dimensions
18 3476 58 in. (47.717.916.9 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Paul A. Nelson in honor of Henry and Lillian Steinberg
Mediums
Mediums Description
terra cotta
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure female — knee length
  • Animal — fish
  • Portrait female — Susanna
Object Number
1984.136.2

Artwork Description

Edris Eckhardt created many ceramic sculptures inspired by religious characters, and this piece is based on the biblical story of Susanna. Two elders propositioned the young woman while she bathed, but she rejected their advances. The angry men falsely accused her of adultery, and Susanna was sentenced to death. This sculpture captures the moment when she emerges from the water, unaware that she is being watched. The dark, bronze-colored surface, together with the figure's exaggerated curves and dancer's pose, suggest an ancient image of fertility.