Oil on canvas, 181cm by 229cm.
The story of the legendary Roman hero Marcus Curtius was popular with artists from the time of the Renaissance.
After a chasm had opened up during an earthquake, threatening Rome, the city was saved by the courageous action of a young Roman soldier who leapt with his horse into the gulf, which thereupon closed, thus saving the city.
The painting was purchased by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700), whilst on one of his Grand Tours.
It is recorded in the Burghley Inventory of 1688: ‘The Stewards Parlor….1 peice of Curtius no frame, by Jordanus.’
Luca Giordano was one of the earl’s favourite artists.