The Death of SenecaFrom the Original Picture at Burleigh, Painted by Luca Giordano, In the Collection of the Right Honourable the Earl of Exeter; To whom this Plate is Dedicated, by his Lordship's most Obliged and most Humble Servant John Boydell
J. Boydell excudit 1768 / Published Oct.r 1st 1768
Engraving, platemark 475 x 610mm (18¾ x 24"). Small margins on 3 sides. Trimmed inside platemark at top. Crease verso not visible on front.
The Stoic philosopher Seneca about to open his veins to commit suicide on the orders of the tyrant Nero. Seneca sits on the right, his feet in a copper vessel filled with warm water to dull the pain and collect his blood. After a painting by Italian artist Luca Giordano purchased by the Fifth Earl of Exeter for display at Burleigh House, where it hung in the 'Best Bedd Chamber'. There it was seen by poet Matthew Prior, whose poem 'Picture of Seneca dying in a Bath. By Jordain. At the Right Honourable the Earl of Exeter's at Burleigh-House', 1718, celebrates the artist's role as Seneca's preserver. The painting remains at Burleigh. From "The Most Capital Paintings in England", a series of engravings in published in five volumes between the late 1760s and 1786, the first three of which (1769 to 1773) were originally published under the title Sculptura Britannica. These were a critical and financial success for the publisher John Boydell, who promoted the interests of artists, engravers and patrons, establishing a tradition in Britain for collecting prints.
See James Ker, 'The Deaths of Seneca', p.304. Ex Collection Duke of Westminster.
[Ref: 38482] £260.00