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The Continence of Scipio

Attributed To Il Riccio (Bartolomeo Neroni) (Italian, ca. 1505/15–before 1571)
Title The Continence of Scipio
Date 1537–1539
Medium Fresco transferred to canvas
Dimensions Overall: 50 × 96 1/2 × 2 in. (127 × 245.1 × 5.1 cm)
Credit Line Gift of Mrs. Julian Bobbs, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 62.170

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About this Work

According to the Roman historian Livy, the general Scipio Africanus Major (ca. 234–183 BCE) displayed particularly humanitarian conduct toward prisoners from Carthago Nova in present-day Spain. After being given a beautiful young woman from the conquered city as a slave, he allowed her return to her parents and fiancé, who are shown kneeling in the center of this composition. This subject was often associated with marriage in Renaissance Italy. The fresco (wall painting) was likely installed in the wedding chamber of a Sienese palazzo, probably the Palazzo Campioni. In the early nineteenth century, it was removed from the palazzo’s wall and transferred to canvas to make it portable.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

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"The Continence of Scipio | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.