Death of Seneca

Johann Michael Rottmayr

Johann Michael Rottmayr - Death of Seneca
The canvas was painted in the first half of the 1690s, soon after Rottmayr’s return from Italy at the turn of 1687. After that, the painter was employed by the new Archbishop of Salzburg, Johann Ernst Thun, and soon he also started working for other members of the Thun family in Bohemia. The painting, Death of Seneca, was commissioned by Maximilian Thun, along with other canvases by Rottmayr, now held by the Czech and Austrian collections, to decorate his residence in the Lesser Town of Prague. According to Tacitus‘ Annales, Seneca, Emperor Nero’s tutor, was accused of conspiracy, and at the command of the emperor, he committed suicide. Seneca is supported by a soldier, whereas one of his servants is getting ready to fulfil Seneca’s wish and cut his vein. Also present at the scene is one of his pupils, who records the philosopher’s last words. In the background, Nero and his wife look on.
measurements: height 127 cm
width 181 cm
in collections:
material: canvas
technique: oil
inventory number: O 9664
gallery collection: Collection of Old Masters