Marcus Curtius leaping into the Chasm, Luca Giordano (1634-1705).

Oil on canvas, 49cm by 64cm.

Marcus Curtius was a legendary Roman soldier who sacrificed himself to persuade the gods to close a chasm that had opened up in the Roman Forum.

The painting was probably purchased by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700), on one of his later Grand Tours, as it first appears in the 1763 Burghley Inventory: ‘The Drawing room … Curtius leaping into the gulph by L. Jordanus.’

The earl much admired the artist’s work and bought several of his paintings.


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