Lucretia was a legendary Roman heroine who lived in the sixth century BCE and a model of female virtue. After having been violated by Sextus Tarquinius, son of the last Etruscan king of Rome Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, Lucretia called upon he husband and father to seek vengeance. Unwilling to endure the prospect of gossip and a public scandal, Lucretia stabbed herself in the heart and died. This enraged the populace and led to the rebellion that overthrew the monarchy and established the Roman Republic. Thus Lucretia also came to represent the civic virtue of resisting tyranny. Although naked, Lucretia does not look sensuous; she is imposing. The life-size figure occupies most of the picture plane, receiving strong light. The proportions of the figure indicate that the painting was to be looked up at from around the figure’s knee. Carved on the frame of the bed is a creature that has a human head, female torso, a pair of bird wings, and animal hind legs. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, such hybrids as harpies and sphinxes signified lustfulness and sinfulness. By contrasting a symbol of vice with Lucretia’s robust figure, the artist accentuates the heroine’s virtue.