In Teniers’ small study of this same subject, we see an entirely different
aspect of Love. Here, the scene is brighter and even almost bucolic. The Samaritan, armed with a sword, attended by a young boy also so armed, has jumped from his horse to try to save a life. In the distance, we again can spy another passerby heading away, with the Samaritan’s dog letting off one last departing bark to ensure he’s safely out of range. The Samaritan is pictured here gently binding his enemy’s wounds, with a tenderness and care that belies the rough nature of the road both are travelling on. And incredibly, the near-dead injured man seems to respond, sparking back to life as he leans up on his elbows and speaks to the Samaritan, his former enemy. Unexpected tenderness can do that. It can transform enmity to love.
Am I willing to engage with the tender side of love? Or do I view that as “too feminine”?