THE DEATH OF SOPHONISBA
Half-figure depictions of Herodias, Lucretia, Saint Agnes and Sophonisba constituted the range of Francesco Cairo's favourite subjects, particularly during the early period of his work and they brought him wide fame. His pictures of such subjects are often referred to in various types of inventories of old collections. Cairo depicts his heroines in a state of tragic ecstasy and the particularly powerful impact of his works can be explained by the fact that many of the figures are on the verge of dying.
Provenance: in the collection of M.B.Benediktov (Moscow); transferred to the Pushkin Museum from the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs in 1937.