The painting depicts an episode from a story by Plutarch. It is about how Antiochus (unknown–261 BC), the son of the king of Syria Seleucus, fell in love with his stepmother Stratonice. As his love was doomed, he fell ill from the pain and wanted to starve himself to death. The palace doctor worked out the reason for the youth’s illness and informed his father. Seleucus generously fulfilled his son’s wishes and granted his son the hand in marriage of the beautiful Stratonice. In the picture we see the young ill-ridden Antiochus, seated on a bed in the company of the doctor and a servant. His father brings him Stratonice, who is dressed in a bridal gown.