Messalina meets the Emperor. A.R. 797.

WAG 7731


This is one of a group of drawings by British artist and book illustrator Edward Francis Burney, depicting scenes from Greek and Roman history and mythology. One of the inscriptions on the margin, January No. 2, seems to refer to the month in a calendar for which Burney created this frontispiece drawing. He executed many headpieces of this kind for pocket calendars and memorandum books between 1796 to 1829. [See correspondence between Patricia Crown and Edward Morris, in the docket file] The image depicts the meeting between the Emperor (possibly Claudius) and Messalina who later becomes his third wife.