This delicately painted scene with its imperfect architectural perspective shows an episode from Virgil's Aeneid. King Latinus of Latium and his wife Amata have planned that their beautiful daughter Lavinia will marry Turnus, king of the Rutulians. Latinus sits on a throne whose simple columns match the architecture behind him, looking at Turnus on his left. Amata kneels in the foreground, pleading with Turnus not to go into battle, where he may be killed. Lavinia stands at the left, wearing a hood and surrounded by her attendants.
In the AeneidLavinia is filled with emotion when she hears her mother's plea, "her burning cheeks bathed in tears and the deep flush glowed and spread over her face." Turnus ignores Amata's warning and is killed in battle by Aeneas of Troy. The Trojan hero Aeneas then returns to claim Lavinia as his wife.