The Master of Marradi: The expulsion of King Tarquinius Superbus and his son Sextus from Rome (15th century)

(Private Collection)

A painting from an unknown 15th century Italian artist from Tuscany. The painting forms a part of a set and shows a very important episode from the history of Rome: the expulsion of the last king of Rome. Rome was ruled by kings from its foundation by Romulus until 509 B.C., according to Roman legends Rome was ruled by 7 kings. In 509 BC the Roman king Lucius Tarquinius Superbus was on a militairy campaign when his son Sextus Tarquinius raped the noblewoman Lucretia. Lucretia revealed the crime to her father and other witnesses, called out for vengeance and committed suicide with a knife in their presence. Led by Lucius Junius Brutus, Rome rose up in revolt and expelled both Lucius Tarquinius Superbus and Sextus Tarquinius. After the expulsion the people of Rome voted for the intitution of the Roman Republic with two consuls at its head. The painting shows both Tarquini fleeing with Roman soldiers in pursuit. Painting from the 15th century.