Inventory number
P04688
Author
Domínguez Sánchez, Manuel (Spanish)
Title
After cutting his veins, Seneca gets into the Bathtub while his sorrowful friends swear their hate
Chronology
1871
Technique
Óleo
Support
Lienzo
Dimensions
270 cm x 450 cm
School
Española
Theme
Historia
On display
Yes
Provenance
Nuevas Adquisiciones, 1873; Museo de Arte Moderno.

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.

 
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