Canova sought to grasp the distinct human passions in moments of pain and death. The pathetic picture of the family at the young woman’s bedside creates an atmosphere of silence and sadness.
The mother is sitting completely worn out. Next to her two young children are crying with her whereas the third son is covering his face with his hands. The father, destroyed by the pain, is turned towards the lifeless body of the princess. The clothes worn are appropriate for each one’s age. The smallest child is naked, the other child is covered by a small tunic, the adult is wearing a chlamys, the father a cloak, whereas the mother is dressed as a noblewoman and is the protagonist of the portrait.