Famous artists paint Samson and Delilah

In 1949, ten members of the faculty of the Famous Artists School correspondence course were commissioned to paint their interpretation of Samson and Delilah, based on the 1949 Cecil B. DeMille production at Paramount.

The artists pictured include: (back row, from left to right) Harold von Schmidt, Norman Rockwell, Ben Stahl, Peter Helck, and Austin Briggs. (Front row): John Atherton, Al Parker, Al Dorne (on the ground, who apparently didn't contribute a painting), Steven Dohanos, Jon Whitcomb, and Robert Fawcett. 

Rockwell did a big painting of Samson pushing down the columns of the temple.

He shot reference of actor Victor Mature, and did the color study at right.

Austin Briggs showed Samson slaying a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass.

Al Parker portrayed Delilah cutting the lock of Samson's hair, thus robbing him of power.

Austin Briggs (Edit: Jon Whitcomb) also showed a romantic scene, with Delilah looking the part of a regal but dangerous female.

Harold von Schmidt, known for his dramatic action illustrations, showed Samson wrestling with a lion.

Peter Helck illustrated Samson doing the ignoble work of grinding at the mill. To my knowledge this is the only one of the ten finished paintings that has surfaced. I wonder if anyone knows what became of the others.
Images courtesy the Famous Artists' and Norman Rockwell Museum Digital Collection. All Rights Reserved.

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