FRENCH SCHOOL, CIRCA 1680-1710
MUCIUS SCAEVOLA PUTTING HIS HAND IN THE FIRE
oil on canvas
canvas: 42¼ by 50 in.; 108 by 127 cm.
framed: 47¾ by 56¾ in.; 121.3 by 144.1 cm.
The canvas is lined. The painting presents a decorative image with some details well preserved, for example in the shine on the metal helmets and armor. There is a space less than an inch wide between the edge of the canvas and the frame at the bottom right, where frame abrasions to the paint surface are also visible. A horizontal line runs from the extreme ends at bottom, possibly due to an old stretcher bar. This line fluoresces under UV, as do scattered spots of retouching throughout, for example on the center of the composition in the shadows. It is offered in a painted wood frame with some minor loss along the edges.
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NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Thence by descent.
This painting depicts the moment Mucius, a young Roman, burns his right hand to demonstrate his bravery to Lars Porsena, king of Clusium. Because of this audacious act, Porsena forgives Mucius for killing his scribe and offers peace to the Romans.