The Roman general Scipio had been promised a beautiful young girl in return for conquering a city. But he returned the young woman to her betrothed and gave them the ransom he had been offered for the wedding. Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, the son of the even better-known painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, shows Scipio half turned away from the viewer, with a red cloak over his shoulders and the general's staff in his right hand. Before him stand the young bride in her finery and the bridegroom, who is putting a ring on her finger. Tiepolo has staged this moving episode from Roman history like a scene in a play.
Like many of his contemporaries, the Frankfurt merchant and banker Herz Hayum Goldschmidt (1799-1879) collected mainly Dutch and German art from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries and a number of works of Italian origin. Since 1826 the financial basis for this had been provided by his shop for manufactured goods in Langestraße, and later at Schöne Aussicht no. 6. He also dealt in government securities. Goldschmidt was a member of the Frankfurter Kunstverein (Frankfurt Art Association) and had purchased the Tiepolo painting there a few years before he donated it.