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. Ref: Rosenblum, Transformations in Late Eighteenth Century Art, 57; Fowble, To Please Every Taste, 53.
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.”