This panel depicts the death of Julius Caesar in a continuous narrative, with four sequential scenes in one setting. The story reads from left to right: priests warn Caesar not to go to the Senate; Caesar refuses to look at the scroll that identifies the conspirators and their plans; conspirators stab Caesar at the Senate; Caesar is placed in honor on his funeral pyre.
Though the costumes and setting are late 15th-century Italian, viewers at that time would have been familiar with the story of Julius Caesar and would have understood the narrative as a depiction of ancient Rome. The artist included Trajan’s column, a key monument, at the far right to emphasize this point.
This painting decorated a cassone, one of a pair of wedding chests that a groom ordered for his bedchamber. 15th-century Italians traced their ancestry back to the ancient Romans. Images of their forebears’ lives reflect pride in their lineage. This association is appropriate for a room concerned with the continuance of the family line.