VASSALLO, Antonio Maria
(b. ca. 1620, Genova, d. 1664/72, Milano)

Childhood of King Cyrus

Oil on canvas, 75 x 110 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Cyrus the Great (c. 600 BC - c. 530 BC), also known as Cyrus II of Persia and Cyrus the Elder, was a Persian Emperor. He was the founder of the Persian Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty. The empire expanded under his rule, eventually conquering most of Southwest Asia and much of Central Asia, from Egypt and the Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east, to create the largest state the world had yet seen. According to Herodotus, he was the grandson of the Median king Astyages and was brought up by humble herding folk.