The Triumph of Marius

Artist: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, Venice 1696–1770 Madrid)

Date: 1729

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: Irregular painted surface, 220 x 128 5/8 in. (558.8 x 326.7 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1965

Accession Number: 65.183.1


This painting is from a series of ten magnificent canvases painted to decorate the main room of Ca’ Dolfin, Venice. The subject of this triumphal procession is identified by the Latin inscription at the top of the painting, from the Roman historian Lucius Anneus Florus: "The people of Rome behold Jugurtha laden with chains". The African king Jugurtha is shown before his captor, the Roman general Gaius Marius. The procession was held on January 1, 104 B.C. The crowds carry booty, including a bust of the mother goddess Cybele. The thirty-year-old Tiepolo included his self-portrait among the figures on the left.