- Reference number
- Domínguez Sánchez, Manuel (Spanish)
- After cutting his veins, Seneca gets into the Bathtub while his sorrowful friends swear their hate
- 270 cm x 450 cm
- On display
- Acquisition, 1873
Emperor Nero accused his teacher, Seneca, of treason and ordered his execution. Scorning imperial power, the philosopher decided to take his own life. First he cut his veins and then he took poison. In the end, though, it was the vapors from a brazier that put an end to his suffering. The painting shows the moment when Seneca lies in the bathtub, surround by his weeping friends. The still-smoking brazier is visible in the background.
The artist designed this work as a horizontal composition, recalling classical pictorial friezes like the one depicted on the end wall. The rectangular format contrasts with vertical elements such as the urn in the foreground, or the columns.
This work won first prize at the National Exhibition of Fine Arts in 1871, along with Rosales Death of Lucretia (P4613). Both paintings marked the return of classical themes to Spanish history paintings, with subjects that offered exemplary moral precepts no spectator could disdain.
After being acquired for the Museum of Painting and Sculpture in 1873, it was transferred to the Museum of Modern Art.