Object Image

Agrippina Landing at Brundisium with the Ashes of Germanicus

This painting exemplifies a reawakened interest in the noble values of classical antiquity-stoicism, self-sacrifice, generosity, patriotism-that influenced artists and writers as well as politicians in the second half of the eighteenth century. It brought the Pennsylvania-born Benjamin West, who was working in London, immediate praise and the patronage of King George III. West here depicts a dramatic episode from Roman history. Agrippina, widow of the assassinated and much-admired general Germanicus, is seen arriving with the ashes of her slain husband. Crowds of mourning citizens greet her as she starts on her way to confront the Emperor Tiberius, widely believed to have arranged for Germanicu ...
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Oil on canvas
163.8 x 240.0cm
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Yale University Art Gallery
Permanent collection