(b. 1654, Pieve di Soligo, d. 1726, Pieve di Soligo)

Antiochus and Stratonice

c. 1700
Oil on canvas, 253 x 301 cm
Staatliche Museen, Kassel

Antonio Bellucci's work, greatly esteemed during his lifetime, builds on the discoveries of the great Venetian painters of the 16th century (Titian, Veronese), this being particularly evident in his use of glowing colour.

The story represented in this painting is taken from Plutarch. Antiochus (324-261 BC), son of Seleucus I, King of Syria, had fallen ill of a mysterious disease. Erasistratos, his father's personal physician, discovered the cause only when he felt his patient's heartbeat become violent and irregular on the queen's entering the room; Antiochos had fallen hopelessly in love with his young stepmother Stratonice. Seleukos I then magnanimously gave up his wife, offering her to his son as his bride.