Francesco Zugno the Younger was active mainly in Venice. He comes from an important Venetian family with long-established painting roots. Francesco taught painting and sculpture at the Venice Academy and worked in the workshop of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, later becoming his collaborator. Together they have created several paintings between 1730 and 1737. His first important commissions were the paintings for the monastery church of San Lazzaro degli Armeni in Venice.
The painting depicts King Erysichthon ordering to fell a sacred oak tree (Metamorphoses, Book VIII). The woman in the middle holding the tree is probably Erysichthon's daughter Mestra, whom he sold into slavery. For scorning the gods he was afflicted at once with an insatiable hunger, and eventually gnawed his own flesh and died.
(expert opinion: Dario Succi, Gorizia)