Sophronisbe taking the Poisoned Draught, (painting)
Rubens (school of)
Appears in exhibition catalog as entry no. 22
46 x 57. We have here one of the great master's finest compositions in a most excellent reproduction--form, expression, incomparable fresh color, drapery, all done by an able hand. Sophronisbe, daughter of the great Carthaginian general Asdrubal, married Syphax, the Numidian Prince, who was taken captive by his rival Masinissa, and carried in chains to Rome, where he soon after died. Masinissa fell in love with the really noble Sophronisbe, and finally married her. This displeased Scipio Africanus, senior, and he ordered Masinissa to discard her. The lieutenant was dastard enough to obey, and wicked enough to write to his wife his general's orders, with the advice to die like a daughter of Asdrubal. The painting represents her with the letter in one hand and the poisoned chalice in the other. She reads the order to her attendants, and smiles as if she were to take a pleasant draught. [P. 56.]
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