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Agrippina and Her Children Mourning over the Ashes of Germanicus

Agrippina and Her Children Mourning over the Ashes of Germanicus

Artist: Benjamin West (American, 1738 – 1820)

Date: 1773
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
80 x 56 1/2 in. (203.2 x 143.5 cm)
Credit Line: Bequest of John Ringling, 1936
Object number: SN403
On View: Art Museum Gallery 17
About this ObjectWest was American-born, but spent his career in London, and achieved great success for his large-scale history paintings. Meant to ennoble the viewer, such works typically conveyed a clear message about heroic or otherwise exemplary human emotion and behavior. Here Agrippina, wife of the Roman general Germanicus, mourns her husband’s death at the hands of his uncle, the Emperor Tiberius. The pathos of Agrippina and the older children is deepened by the carefree attitude of the smallest boys, who are blissfully unaware of the tragic loss.
Provenance
acquired by John Ringling; bequest to The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 1936
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