Mithradates Triumphs at a Tournament

Unknownabout 1413 - 1415

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The figure wielding the sword and wearing a king's crown over a red hat may be Mithradates, the king of Pontus and Asia, participating in a tournament during the years he spent traveling around Asia as a young man. Disguising his identity, he lived among the locals, captured animals for food, and developed his courage and physical strength. The miniature, however, may allude to King Mithradates' death. Following a series of disastrous wars with the Romans, his own army revolted against him. After poisoning his wives, concubines, and daughters to prevent them falling into the hands of his enemies , he poisoned himself. But since he had previously taken a remedy against the drug, it proved ineffective. In a desperate attempt to end his life, he begged a French soldier, probably a mercenary, to kill him. This image, then, may depict Mithradates' assisted suicide.

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  • Title: Mithradates Triumphs at a Tournament
  • Date Created: about 1413 - 1415
  • Location Created: Paris, France
  • Physical Dimensions: w29.6 x h42 cm
  • Type: Folio
  • Rights: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • External Link: http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=112359
  • Medium: "Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment"
  • illuminator: Unknown
  • Terms of Use: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • Subject: Mithradates VI