Richard Earlom after Anthony van Dyck. "The Continence of Scipio."
London: John Boydell, 1766. 17 1/4 x 27. Engraving by J. Miller. Narrow but complete borders within plate marks. Strong impression. Very good condition.
In the eighteenth century many images of virtuous figures from history were popular for their moral examples. This fine image is just such a one. Scipio Africanus (237-183 B.C.E.), a Roman General of the Punic Wars is exalted,
Here the 24-year-old Roman virtuously returns one of his prisoners-a noble and beautiful Carthaginian maiden-to her parents and fiancé, a benevolent act which is further magnified by the addition of money to her dowry of golden treasures, brought to Scipio for her ransom.Ref: Rosenblum, Transformations in Late Eighteenth Century Art, 57.