Art: Biblical Benton

Too minor to be called a trend but distinctly a phenomenon is the reappearance this year of Biblical subjects in U.S. painting. In Manhattan's Whitney Museum last week an exhibition of paintings by artists west of the Mississippi proved noteworthy chiefly for Missourian Thomas Benton's Susanna and the Elders, a Western version of a sultry incident from the Old Testament.* Composed in forthright Artist Benton's usual robustious arabesques, it gave a timeless answer to critics who have chided "U.S. Scene" painters with an inability to work nudes into their hayseed subject matter.

* Daniel, Chap. 13 (Douay version).

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