1617. Oil on wood. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA. Read Note.
Decius Mus, member of a noble Roman family and Council of Early Republic, sacrificed his life for the victory of Rome. About 340 BC, Rome fought against southern Italian cities. Two armies met near Naples. The Roman leaders were prophesied that the army which lost its commander would be victorious. Rubens depicted the moment when Decius Mus was explaining to his soldiers that he must allow himself to be killed