The Roman emperor Vespasian sits in an interior receiving a document from a standing figure to the right of the composition. The emperor is dressed in a white robe and sits on a red chair to the left of the composition. The interior is largely dark, with the exception of the emperor, whose figure is brightly lit.
The painting is in the original frame, which is constructed to resemble a Roman Temple with base, entablature, and fluted ionic pilasters.
The architecture and artifacts of ancient Rome were of enduring interest to Alma-Tadema and the artist kept for his use both reference photographs and his own drawings of chairs, friezes, and other details of daily life that he could see in the Naples Museum and elsewhere. These details were employed to convey a strong sense of period authenticity, in this case the report delivered to Vespasian from his son, Titus, describing the sack of the city of Jerusalem. The rich coloration, thoughtful pose of the emperor, and strong light on the seated figure all contribute to the quiet and meditative mood of the work.
30.8 cm x 40 cm x 1.7 cm (12 1/8 in. x 15 3/4 in. x 11/16 in.)
View of an interior of an inn, with tatami-matted rooms and sliding doors. The rooms have doors open. Men and women wearing yukata are resting in one of the rooms. The other room seems to be a public bathroom, with one man taking a bath in the deep soaking tubs, and the other sitting on the stool to put on his clothes.
This sketch shows ancient ruins. The top half of the page is left empty with sky. At the righ is an apsed portico and from it, to the left of the page, runs a wall studded with windows. In the foreground is a set of stairs with shrubbery overgrowing.
The sketch for a church is presented with the view towards the door. The church has a portico entrance with columns and and pediment. Above that his a high glazed drum supporting the dome. Atop the dome is a lantern and cross. At the ends of the entableture are sculptures of standing figures. The sides of the stucture appear to be quite shallow, suggesting that the church is a short-armed Greek cross or even round in plan.
Giuseppe Barberi was trained as a silversmith but also created civic plans, including domestic and church architecture.
A large crowd in the foreground gesture towards a group of figures seen in the doorway of a building in the distance at center. The figures in the distance, many holding lances, look at a standing semi-nude man framed in the doorway. Other figures look out of windows onto this open courtyard where the figures have congregated. The crowd in the foreground include a figure at the left holding a tall cross and another figures at the right, standing in shadow with a raised hand.
Callot employs a very long horizontal format for his "Christ Presented to the People". The focus of the print is on the crowd in the foreground all gesturing towards the figure of Christ and Pilate shown in the doorway at center.