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  • Metellus Raising the Siege

    Artist:
    Caraffe, Armand-Charles. 1762-1822
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    53,5x80 cm

Caraffe, Armand-Charles. 1762-1822

Metellus Raising the Siege

France, Before 1805

At the storming of the town of Centobrica in Spain, Quintus Caecilius Metellus of Macedonia (died 115 BC) stopped his soldiers from attacking when he saw that the besieged had placed in the line of fire the wife and children of Retogen, who had gone over to the Roman side. Retogen, however, announced that he was ready to sacrifice the life of his near ones for the sake of a successful attack, but Metellus declared mercy and removed the siege. The subject is taken from De dictis factisque memorabilibus (Of Memorable Deeds and Sayings; Book V, chapter I, 5), by Valerius Maximus. Retogen is shown seated on a horse beside Metellus. The multi-figure battle scene is treated in the spirit of an antique tragedy staged in a theatre of Neoclassical period, with deliberately exaggerated poses, expansive gestures and affected facial expressions. The painting has a typically Caraffe smooth, detailed manner of painting, with strict drawing, bright colouring, and a naturalistic depiction of the half-naked bodies and the texture of the objects, metal helmets, spears and swords.

Title:

Metellus Raising the Siege

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

53,5x80 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1920; transferred from the Gatchina Palace Museum

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-2758

Category:

Collection:

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