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

The youthful Daniel, left, cleverly cross-examines Susanna’s two accusers, proving her innocent of adultery. Despite her blameless reputation, no one defends Susanna until God inspires Daniel. The incident is the first of Daniel’s many adventures which include a night in the lion’s den (Daniel 6) and confrontations with the rulers of Babylon because of his remarkable ability to interpret dreams (Daniel 2, 4).

This painting by Italian artist Francesco Vanni (1563–1610) used details that may symbolize the triumph of fidelity—dogs—over lust—a rabbit (bottom right). Above the animals, time is telescoped: the two elders are stoned, receiving the punishment they intended for Susanna when she refused to submit to their blackmail. Architectural details in a receding landscape exemplify Renaissance fascination with and skillful control over linear perspective.