. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, USA. Read Note.
Queen Tomyris before the Head of Cyrus. The most detailed and earliest account of the story is given by Herodotus. Cyrus, the greatest Persian king (c. 550 BC), sought to conquer the Messagetae which was ruled by the widowed Queen Tomyris. First he tried to woo her, but after she refused he captured and killed Tomyris's son. Then she vowed to avenge. Another battle Tomyris's troops won, she found his body, cut off the head and put it in a bowl of blood with the famous words 'Satia te sanguine quem semper sitisti' (Sate thyself on the blood for which thou hast always thirsted).
See: Andrea del Castagno. Queen Tomyris.