Vespasian hearing from one of his generals of the taking of Jerusalem by Titus
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.
Two women on a settee dressed in elegant 19th century attire, one holding a fan and the other a parasol, while another richly clad woman leans in close beside them, in a lavishly decorated interior setting with ornately carved gilded walls, a large mirror above the settee, inlaid marble floor, and large vases to either side of the settee. In the center of the room is a sculpture of the Medici Venus on a pedestal with her back to the viewer, her reflection evident in the mirror. Between the base of the sculpture and the viewer is an elaborately carved gilt stool covered with rich red fabric. Beside the sculpture, another woman holding a book walks towards the cluster of women.
Jupiter and Mercury in the House of Philemon and Baucis
Two lamps provide the only source of light in this nighttime interior and the scene is full of dark shadows and areas highlighted by white. Two men are seated at a table- one is a bearded man wearing long robes and the other has a hat with wings. They are looking at a woman, wearing a cloth headdress and a long dress, who stands before them. On the left is a man entering through a doorway. The features of the room are shown in great detail including the assortment of food, hanging vegetables and baskets, a wall tapestry, the rough wood planking and decorative designs on the bedding. There is Latin wording in cursive script below this scene.
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Medium and Support
engraving and etching on thin, slightly textured dark cream laid paper