Daniel in the Lions’ Den Painting

who was peter paul rubens?

Sir Peter Paul Rubens’ birth date was on June 28, 1577. In Antwerp, he was taught classically and trained under teachers like Tobias Verhaecht, Adam van Noort, and Otto van Veen.

contextual analysis

Daniel in the Lions’ Den by Peter Paul Rubens was inspired by Chapter Six in the Book of Daniel (2nd Century BC) in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible.

studying lions

The lions that feature in Daniel in the Lions’ Den by Peter Paul Rubens were interestingly from North Africa and Morocco and are known as the Barbary lion.

analysis of the artwork

subject matter

Daniel is semi-nude and only clothed around his waist, which is covered by a white cloth. He sits cross-legged, and both his hands are clasped with interlocking fingers in a prayer position.


Peter Paul Rubens utilized rich colors for Daniel in the Lions’ Den painting, from the lions’ golden-brown fur to Daniel’s peach skin tones and the red of the cloth he sits on.


Peter Paul Rubens created a rich variety of implied textures on Daniel in the Lions’ Den painting, which depicts it in a realistic manner.


There is a diagonal line implied in the positioning of Daniel’s body posture, and the lean that is towards his left (our right), which creates more emphasis, coupled with the light source from above.

shape and form

The rocky formation behind the figures in the foreground also appears naturalistic, but with more of a softer angularity compared to the fluidity of the human and animal figures.


If we look at how Peter Paul Rubens utilized his compositional space, he filled it with the main figures in the foreground and middle ground with the rocky face.