Christ and the Adulterous Woman
by Pieter van Lint
First half of 17th century
The title of the story is taken from John 8:3-11 – The Adulterous Woman, in which a mob brings an adulteress before Jesus for judgment, the usual punishment for adultery being death by stoning. Jesus decrees that the first stone be thrown by one who is free from sin; until eventually no one remains. This story from the bible parallels Camus’ thinking on Capital Punishment as outlined in Reflections on the Guillotine. Namely, that no authority exists which is capable of passing judgment on another human being because no person possesses absolute innocence.
Pieter van Lint or Peter van Lint (1609–1690) was a Flemish painter, draughtsman and designer of tapestries. He excelled in history paintings, genre scenes and portraits in the Flemish Baroque style with some Classisizing influence. He worked in Antwerp and Italy.