Study for the Death of Messalina

Francesco Solimenaabout 1704/1712

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

The drawing is a preparatory study for the painting of the same subject. Swiftly made in black chalk, the drawing explores the poses of the principal characters and their spatial relationships. Given the changes that exist between the drawing and the painting, it seems likely that the drawing was made at a relatively early stage in the creative process. No other preparatory drawings for this painting are known.


  • Title: Study for the Death of Messalina
  • Creator: Francesco Solimena
  • Date Created: about 1704/1712
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 12 × 13 cm (4 3/4 × 5 1/8 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Black chalk
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 2016.98
  • Culture: Italian
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Gift of Emmanuel and Laurie Marty de Cambiaire
  • Creator Display Name: Francesco Solimena (Italian, 1657 - 1747)
  • Classification: Drawings (Visual Works)

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps