A statue of Diana, goddess of the hunt and protectress of women, presides over a classical temple where Camma, a priestess of Diana's cult, takes revenge on the powerful ruler Synorix, who has murdered her husband. Pretending to accept his proposal of marriage, she offers him poisoned milk and...
A statue of Diana, goddess of the hunt and protectress of women, presides over a classical temple where Camma, a priestess of Diana's cult, takes revenge on the powerful ruler Synorix, who has murdered her husband. Pretending to accept his proposal of marriage, she offers him poisoned milk and honey, after first drinking some herself. According to the ancient Greek writer Plutarch, Camma "died cheerful and happy" as soon as she learned of Synorix's death. Le Sueur, unlike most French history painters of his era, never went to Italy. He based his detailed archaeological and architectural references to the ancient world primarily on book illustrations.
April 24, 1775, Cabinet Le Doux sale, Paris, lot 51 [see note 1]. May 10, 1793, anonymous (Valkers or Valguerse) sale, Paillet, Paris, lot 32 [see note 2]. Samuel Pawson, London; December 1795 or 1796, Pawson sale, Great Room, London, lot 37 [see note 3]. Eric Ayshford Knight (b. 1863 - d. 1944), Wolverley House, Worcester, England. Art market, England; acquired by an unnamed dealer in England and sold to P. and D. Colnaghi, London [see note 4]; 1948, sold by Colnaghi to the MFA for £1200. (Accession Date: January 8, 1948) NOTES:  As first suggested by Marie Cabane in a letter to Lucretia Giese of the MFA (November 21, 1973) and published by Marguerite Sapin, "Contribution à l'étude de quelques oeuvres d'Eustache Le Sueur," Revue du Louvre et des Musées de France 4 (1978): 250, n. 10.  Alain Merot, Eustache Le Sueur (1616-1655) (Paris, 1987), p. 180, cat. no. 32.  Marguerite Sapin, "Précisions sur l'histoire de quelques tableaux d'Eustache Le Sueur," Bulletin de la Société de l'Histoire de l'Art français, 1984, p. 57, cat. no. 6.  According to a letter from James Byam Shaw, Colnaghi, to W. G. Constable, MFA (January 13, 1948). The painting is mentioned in correspondence from Colnaghi as early as September, 1947.
M. Theresa B. Hopkins Fund