Painting oil on canvas measuring 100 x 150 cm without frame and 120 x 170 cm with coeval frame depicting Semirmis receiving news of the Babylonian revolt by the painter Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (Viterbo 1610 - 1662).
Semiramide is a legendary seated Babylonian queen, wife of the equally legendary king Nino, eponymous founder of Nineveh. She appears in the narratives of various Greek authors as the wife of the legendary King Nino, who would have fallen in love with her when she was still the wife of General Onne; the king would have asked the general to leave her and Onne would have committed suicide. Later Semiramide would succeed Nino, who died in battle, assuming the regency for his son Nynias.
For medieval Christian writers Semiramis rises to the symbol of pagan absolutism, cruel and licentious to the point of incest. Justin speaks of it from which Dante Alighieri also drew, who places it among the people who sinned of lust in the second circle of Hell (Inferno, V, 52-60). In this circle, Dante says that Semiramis was so lustful that, in order for her behavior to be "normal" in the eyes of the population, she promoted a law, through which all subjects had to be equally lustful (from the verses of Dante who libito fé licito in its law). In fact, she was deeply ashamed of having fallen in love with her son, who, however, forced her into an incestuous relationship (from the verses for the tower the blame in which she was conducted).
This grandiose scene of history and mythology in terms of size and pictorial quality is to be counted among the artist's masterpieces and presents the peculiar stylistic characteristics of the Baroque age including the dynamic development of the narrative and the bloody realism. The scenography with the fifth of characters, including Semiramide in the foreground, is peculiar to the master from Viterbo, as is the jagged line of the horizon and the wide sky furrowed by clouds. This painting made with remarkable expressive power recalls the excitement of the fray of his best works made for the Barberini family, moreover here we can see how peremptively a greater coloristic vivacity emerges which makes the painting even more pleasant and beautiful.
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