HOUBRAKEN, Arnold
(b. 1660, Dordrecht, d. 1719, Amsterdam)

Commemoration of King Mausolus by Queen Artemisia

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Oil on canvas, 66 x 79 cm
Private collection

Artemisia was the wife of Mausolus, the satrap of Caria in Asia Minor. She succeeded her husband on his death in 353 B.C., and erected a great monument to his memory at Halicarnassus - hence 'mausoleum'. It was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It was said that she mixed the ashes of Mausolus in liquid which she then drank, thereby making herself, observes Valerius Maximus, making of herself a living, breathing tomb. Artemisia symbolizes a widow's devotion to her husband's memory. In Renaissance painting she is depicted holding a cup or goblet.

This painting appears to be influenced by the paintings of the Leidein fijnschilders.




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