The huge canvas was commissioned from the artist in 1844 by the Municipality of Ancona, on the request of the Marquis Carlo Bourbon del Monte, Gonfaloniere of the city, friend and protector of the painter.
It is an episode inspired by the heroic resistance of the city in the siege of 1173 by Cristiano di Magonza, chancellor of Federico Barbarossa.
After a few weeks of siege, the imperials sent an embassy to the city asking for the surrender, the recognition of imperial power and the handover of the consul of the Byzantine Empire. The Anconitans refused the offer and on the contrary sent emissaries who, passing through the enemy ranks, went to ask for help in the friendly cities of Romagna and Emilia.
The artist immortalizes the moment in which the old senator Bonifacio Faziolo, blind and supported by two young men, urges the councilors, the soldiers and the people of Ancona to swear to resist the siege until death.
The work, theatrically constructed, exalts the civic virtues of courage and unity and updates the concepts of resistance and patriotic involvement in the period of Austrian occupation that the Ancona people were going through when in 1856 it arrived in the city.