Paul Vredeman de Vries was the son and pupil of Hans Vredeman de Vries, one of the most influential exponents of Mannerist architecture and decoration; indeed, Paul collaborated on one of his father's many volumes, Architectura (1606), contributing 31 engravings. It was engravings of this type that would be such a rich resource for later artists, including Hendrick van Steenwijck I (who was also taught by Hans Vredeman de Vries), Bartolomeus van Bassen and Dirck van Delen. Like the engravings, Paul Vredeman de Vries's painted architectural fantasies allied a wealth of elegant architectural forms with a clever illusion of space, such as the present lot, in which the sumptuous palatial architecture takes precedence over the subject of the painting, which shows Daniel demanding justice for Susannah as she is led away for execution (Book of Daniel, XIII). Susannah, who had been spied upon by two elders, was accused of adultery for not complying with their demands, and it was only when Daniel cross-examined the elders separately, that her innocence was decisively proven, sparing her from execution. Hans Vredeman de Vries painted at least two extant scenes from the story of Susannah (nos. 127-8 in Hans Vredeman de Vries und die Renaissance im Norden, exhibition catalogue, 2002). We are grateful to Paul Taylor of the Warburg Institute for identifying the subject of the picture.