MANDER, Karel van, the Elder
(b. 1548, Meulebeke, d. 1606, Amsterdam)

The Continence of Scipio

Oil on copper, 44 x 79 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

When conquering Carthage, the Roman general Scipio had captured a young girl. Instead of keeping her for himself, Scipio displayed magnanimity by returning her to her fiancé and declaring that the ransom money should be her dowry.

Karel van Mander painted this work on copper, on a white ground, which gives the colours great intensity. The reverse side of the copper is also decorated with an Allegory of Nature.