Agrippina, surrounded by her Children, weeping over the Ashes of Germannicus.
Publish'd by J. Boydell, Cheapside July 23. 1774.
Mezzotint, very rare open letter title, 610 x 430mm. 24 x 17". Margin with tears, one just into plate at right.
The widow Agrippina, seated, mourns with her head resting against an urn inscribed with her husband Germanicusís name, comforted by one of her daughters, who touches her neck. A naked boy stands at her feet, leaning back with his hand on his brother's head; behind two young women stand, their arms around each other. A young man beside them buries his head in his hands, another son at the left bows his head; a crown, laurels and a statue of an eagle in the right foreground. In 5 AD Agrippina married Germanicus, her second cousin and step-grandson of the Emperor Augustus. Agrippina had nine children by Germanicus, including the future emperor Gaius (Caligula). Agrippina was very popular among the Roman people, not least because of her marriage to the much-loved Germanicus, whose ashes she brought back to Rome after his death in the east in AD 21. Her strength and popularity aroused the suspicions of the emperor Tiberius and his right-hand man Sejanus, head of the Praetorian guards and she and her eldest son were banished to the Pontian islands on the Bay of Naples in AD 29. Four years later, following a beating so severe that she was blinded in one eye, Agrippina starved herself to death. Her popularity, however, ensured a decent burial, and she was laid to rest at Rome in the Mausoleum of Augustus. After Benjamin West (1738 - 1820).
Whitman: 180, II of II. Chaloner Smith: undescribed. Ex: Collection of The Hon. C. Lennox-Boyd.
[Ref: 14844] £360.00