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The fragment, taken from the original canvas so it could be sold separately, likely frames the figured portion of the middle ground of the composition and depicts the desperate attempts of the Jerusalem mothers to save their children from the massacre of the first-born ordered by Herod. It is a backdrop to a complex architectural scenography where the figures, crowded against a balustrade delimiting a semicircular terrace, are shown in free-fall, fighting, or tragically succumbing to attack. The scene is presented in a highly original way and rendered with hasty, concise brushstrokes describing dynamic tangles of monochrome bodies.