Photo courtesy Scala/Art Resource, New York, N.Y.

Lost in an idyllic reverie, this Susanna by French artist Jean Baptiste Santerre (1651–1717) is set in a woods among romantic ruins. Almost obscured, on the right lurk the two wild-eyed lechers plotting to force her into submission by threats of a false public denunciation. Knowing that the testimony of two witnesses can condemn her to death by stoning, Susanna nevertheless refuses to submit, trusting God to vindicate her.

Written in either Hebrew or Aramaic sometime between 550 B.C.E. and 100 B.C.E. as an addition to the Book of Daniel, Susanna probably was missing from the Semitic text of Daniel used by those who decided what to include in the Hebrew canon. Popular with artists through the centuries, the story of Susanna is now attracting renewed attention because of increased awareness of sexual harassment.