Oil on canvas
Framed: 52 x 80 x 7 cm (20 1/2 x 31 1/2 x 2 3/4 in.); Unframed: 40 x 60 cm (15 3/4 x 23 5/8 in.)
Bequest of Jacques de Caso in memory of Alice Cagliostro and Domenick Cagliostro 2008.71
The story of Sophonisba has been an inspiration to artists, writers, and even filmmakers since the 1300s.
When a Roman general seized Sophonisba as war booty, her husband encouraged her to die with dignity rather than become a captive. She chose suicide by poison. As depicted in the painting, the toxin has just begun to take effect, and she uneasily maintains composure while penning a suicide note.
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