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  • Mucius Scaevola before Porsenna

    Artist:
    Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista. 1696-1770
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    387x227 cm

Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista. 1696-1770

Mucius Scaevola before Porsenna

Italy, Between 1728 and 1730

Dionisio Dolfin, Patriarch of Aquileia, commissioned a series of ten paintings on themes from Roman history (five of which are now in the Hermitage) for his Venetian palace, known as the Ca' Dolfin. The event shown here took place in around 507 BC, during the war between Rome and the Etruscans (Livy, Roman History, II, 12). Gaius Mucius managed to escape from the besieged city into the camp of the Etruscan king Porsenna, with the intention of killing him. Caught by the Etruscans, he was to be tortured with fire, but he proclaimed: "He who sees before him magnificent glory puts little value on his body" and thrust his right hand into the flame. Amazed by the young Roman's bravery, Porsenna set him free and removed the siege. With its broad, free, generalized painterly style, its energetic contrasts of light and shade, its expressive poses and gestures, this painting was clearly intended to be seen at a distance, in a grand hall.

School:

Title:

Mucius Scaevola before Porsenna

Place:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

387x227 cm

Acquisition date:

Formerly in the Dolfin Palace, Venice; since the 1870s had been in the collection of Miller von Aichholz; subsequently in the A.A. Polovtsov collection; presented to the Stieglitz Museum in 1886

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-7473

Category:

Collection:

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