(b. 1741, Chur, d. 1807, Roma)

Portrait of a Woman Dressed as Vestal Virgin

Oil on canvas, 91,5 x 71,5 cm
Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

The Vestal Virgins were priestesses of the temple of Vesta (Greek Hestia), the Roman goddess of the fire that burns in the hearth. One of the Vestals' duties was to keep the altar fire in the temple burning perpetually. They were sworn to absolute chastity; breaking the vow was punished by burial alive.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.