c. 1762-1765. Oil on canvas. Musee des Beaux-Arts, Angers. More.
This is a scene from an opera by the French composer André Cardinal Destouches based on a Greek love story in which a priest named Coresus falls in love with a girl called Callirrhoe. She repeatedly turns him down, which invokes the wrath of the god Dionysus
, who would only be appeased through the sacrifice of Callirrhoe or anyone else willing to die for her. Coresus then takes his own life to save the woman whom he loves.
See also: Jean-Honoré Fragonard. The High Priest Coresus Sacrifices Himself to Save Callirhoe.