Emperor Nero ordered that Rome be set on fire so he could watch for his enjoyment. Nero watched bloody gladiator battles in the Roman Coliseum. Figure in the wick of the burning flames is the spirit of Nero rising up from the centuries.
It is a theatrical interpretation of the history of Rome under the rule of Nero that is unfolding before us against a backdrop of houses. The torch light – a symbol of that infamous accomplishment of Nero’s – flares up above the time-ravaged Colosseum. The chariot pauses to allow the passengers to revel in the arsonist’s show.