Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, after 19th century
An offering to Aesculapius. Scene from antiquity with a vestal virgin at the altar with a blazing fire, surrounded by youngsters and an elderly bearded man. The group is looking at or worshipping a statue of the Greek-Roman god of Healing and Medicine Aesculapius standing with his staff with the snake. Unsigned. Oil on canvas. 46×38 cm.
In antiquity rumours said that the vestal virgins served the snakes. This was perhaps because there was some connection to the medical cult of Aesculapius on the Tiber Island and the cult around Bona Dea, where the snake was considered a symbol of fertility.
The original panting in Musée des beaux-arts d’Arras.
Correction made June 3, 2020.