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Bust of "Seneca"

Upon his return from Italy, Rubens brought back an antique marble bust, which he assumed represented the Roman philosopher Seneca (c. 4 BCE-65 CE).

According to the Stoical idea preached by Seneca, wisdom, perseverance, self-control and equanimity were the moral qualities needed to endure the cruelties of fate. Seneca was especially popular in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and also greatly influenced Rubens and his friends.

Rubens incorporated the bust of "Seneca" in many of his works. The real portrait of Seneca was not discovered until 1813.



  • Bust of "Seneca"
  • Roman, 1st century CE
  • Marble