The physician Erasistratus discovers the love of Antiochus for his mother Stratonice

WAG 1995.219


A drawing in black chalk and brown wash, with white heightening, depicting the scene in which the Greek physician and anatomist Erasistratus discovers the cause of the young Antiochus's malady -- his love for his young stepmother Stratonice. Erasistratus, the bearded figure on the far left, is seated next to Antiochus who, half-nude and sitting on his throne with his legs crossed, looks quite robust and does not really appear to be wasting away with his lovesickness, as told in some ancient texts. Stratonice, the young wife of Antiochus's father, Seleucus, king of Syria, is standing on the right, in an entreating gesture towards both Erasistratus and Antiochus. She is accompanied by another female figure and a child wedged between them. Another child is standing behind Stratonice, on the far right. There are other figures in the background, all minimally sketched.