Sophonisba Receiving the Poison Cup from her Husband's Messenger

Solimena, Francesco (1657-1747) | Painter


Solimena was a major master of the late Baroque in Naples. Here he uses every available compositional device to depict a dramatic scene from the wars between Carthage and Rome. When the Roman general Scipio demanded that the Numidian queen Sophonisba be handed over, her husband sent a messenger to her carrying poison. She drank the deadly substance in order to avoid capture. This was part of a series about famous women, in which Solimena dealt with aspects of love and marriage.

Material & Technique
Oil on canvas
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
c. 1704/08
Inventory number
Gal.-Nr. 500