Issac Fischer German, before 1677- 1705 The Family of Lucretia before Brutus
German, before 1677- 1705
The Family of Lucretia before Brutus
Signed Issac Fischer and dated 17... (lr)
Oil on canvas
40 1/2 x 58 1/2 inches (103 x 148.2 cm)
According to Roman historians, Lucretia was the wife of Lucius Collatinus, a Roman patrician in the reign of the last Etruscan King of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus. The king's son, Sextus Tarquinius, raped Lucretia while he was visiting her family's home. Filled with shame, Lucretia committed suicide by stabbing herself, and called on her family to avenge her.
During the Renaissance and Baroque periods, Lucretia was revered as a heroine of womanly virtue. In paintings of those periods, she is usually depicted alone, preparing to stab herself. In this unusual compositon, Lucretia's family has brought her lifeless body to the Roman Forum to present their grievance against the king and his son to the magistrate Lucius Junius Brutus. Their protest sparked a revolt against the Etruscan kings, whom the outraged Romans drove from from the city, establishing the Roman Republic.
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