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Peter Paul Rubens 1577 – 1640, Samson and Delilah about 1609 – 1610, © The National Gallery, London
This pocket square depicts the gentle scene of biblical characters Samson and Delilah sharing a tender moment. There is a softness in the pose and we as an audience take on a voyeuristic role gazing at a seemingly very intimate moment, however it is in fact a scene of ultimate betrayal. Further painting insights are below.
This painting works fantastically as a pocket square due to its rich deep tones. It is truly unique to be able to wear a renowned work of art from one of the most revered Flemish painters and we think the best way to show off the piece is wearing it as a puff or four point fold.
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Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640) was a remarkable character, not only being a successful painter of European renown but he also played an important diplomatic role in 17th century European politics. In his painting he was a proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasised movement, colour and sensuality and is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes and paintings of mythological subjects.
As a famous painter he was often commissioned by European royalty and when a 12 year truce between the Dutch and the Spanish broke down in 1621 Rubens was called to the courts of England and France as they decided who to ally themselves with. As painters had reason to travel to foreign courts, he was well placed to carry out secret negotiations without his presence arising suspicion. For his efforts the Archduchess Isabella made him ‘gentleman of the household’ in 1627. He then returned to being a prolific painter, producing over 80 paintings in the 1630's for King Phillip of Spain alone. See more information about the artist on his Wikipedia page Peter Paul Rubens.
This gentle scene depicts biblical characters Samson and Delilah sharing a tender moment. There is a vulnerability captured in this painting by the Flemish Baroque painter, Rubens. There is a softness in the pose and we as an audience take on a voyeuristic role gazing at a seemingly very intimate moment, however it is in fact a scene of ultimate betrayal. Delilah has managed to charm Samson into revealing the secret to his strength, his hair.
Rubens depicts a candlelit interior; the Philistines wait at the door, who have come to capture Samson while in a weakened and defenceless state. One of their number cuts Samson's hair, while an elderly woman provides extra light. In a niche behind is a statue of the goddess of love, Venus, with Cupid - a reference to the cause of Samson's fate. This painting was commissioned by Nicolaas Rockox, alderman of Antwerp, for his town house in 1609-10. For more information on the painting, see the National Gallery website.
It was an extensive process to find a border that matched this painting and truly did it justice. In the end we chose to create something lighter than the others in the collection with the use of white as base colour while matching the reds and oranges within the painting for the detailing. In terms of style we’ve tried to match the details found within the blanket in the bottom right hand corner and our corner detailing is particularly similar.