The Remorse of Nero After the Murder of his Mother
J. W. Waterhouse’s The Remorse of Nero depicts the Roman emperor Nero sadly contemplating his dead mother, Agrippa, whom he had murdered. Agrippa had installed her son as emperor in 54 AD after killing her husband-uncle Claudius. Nero and Agrippa reportedly had incestuous relations, and after her murder he allegedly praised the corpse’s beauty. Nero lived a life of infamy for more reason than one, however; he was believed to be behind the burning of Rome to clear land for his grandiose residence, the Domus Aurea (Golden Palace), flaunted his bisexuality, and systematized the persecution of Christians.