The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Rape of Lucretia
  • Felice Ficherelli (1603 - 1660)
  • The Rape of Lucretia
  • Italy
  • late 1630s
  • Painting
  • Oil on tinned copper
  • Image size: 24.5 x 29.9 cm
    Frame size: 42 x 47.5 x 8 cm
  • P643
  • Exhibition Gallery 1
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Livy (History of Rome; I, 58) relates the story of the rape of the virtuous Lucretia, wife of the nobleman Collatinus, by Sextus Tarquinius, son of Tarquinius the Proud, King of Rome. Lucretia subsequently committed suicide, and the incident hastened the revolt which led to the establishment of the Roman Republic. A popular subject with baroque artists, Ficherelli invests the scene with an atmosphere of claustrophobic intimacy. Previously thought to be a copy after Guido Cagnacci, the Wallace Collection’s picture appears to be a reduced replica of a much larger canvas, recently reattributed to Ficherelli, and now in the Accademia di San Luca, Rome. There are several known versions of the composition, dateable from the late 1630s.