The painting is signed and dated lower left: Lebarbier / pinx 1786.
The composition of the painting is very close to the description of a missing painting, Virginia abducted in front of the decemvir Appius, presented at the Salon of 1795, n ° 306.
The decemvir Appius orders Claudius to kidnap the young Roman, Virginia, but Icilius, to whom she was promised, comes to help her and threatens the decemvir Appius. A lictor is in the process of ruling out the latter's passage and the Roman ladies defend outraged virtue.
The stage is in the public square (see C. Thiebault, researches on Le Barbier the Elder (1738-1826): Catalog essay of his painted work. Master's thesis under the supervision of Monsieur Schnapper, Paris 1987, n ° 42 °).
There is an engraving after this painting engraved by Jean Jacques Avril in 1804. In the George Eastman house museum in New York, there is a lantern slide representing the engraving (see picture no 2).
Provenance: Probably the sale that was held after the death of the artist, catalog of paintings drawings and books by Jean Jacques Le Barbier, Paris November the 27TH, 1826 (Maître Perrot), n ° 6.