In 458 BC, Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus was taken out of his humble retirement and appointed dictator of the Roman army to defend Rome against Aequi and Volscian attacks. Defeating the enemy in a single day, he relinquished absolute authority after a mere fifteen days to return to his farmland. His immediate resignation became a legendary model of civic virtue and temperance. In this rare depiction, Grimmer captures the moment in which Cincinnatus is beckoned by the Roman army, while Rome looms in the distance as a foreshadowing of things to come.
We are grateful to Dr Luuk Pijl for confirming the attribution to Grimmer on the basis of a photograph.