这幅画的尺寸为 132.7 × 214.4 厘米（52.2 × 84.4 英寸）。画中表现的是一群罗马食客在宴会上被从假天花板上飘落的粉红色玫瑰花瓣淹没。年轻的罗马皇帝埃拉加巴卢斯身着金色丝绸长袍，头戴皇冠，与其他戴着花环的宾客在他们身后的平台上观看这一奇观。背景中的大理石柱旁有一位女子吹奏双管，她身披玛娜德的豹皮，远处的山丘前有一尊以卢多维西-狄俄尼索斯为原型的狄俄尼索斯铜像。
"Oppressit in tricliniis versatilibus parasitos suos violis et floribus, sic ut animam aliqui efflaverint, cum erepere ad summum non possent。"
The painting measures 132.7 × 214.4 centimetres (52.2 × 84.4 in). It shows a group of Roman diners at a banquet, being swamped by drifts of pink rose petals falling from a false ceiling above. The youthful Roman emperor Elagabalus, wearing a golden silk robe and tiara, watches the spectacle from a platform behind them, with other garlanded guests. A woman plays the double pipes beside a marble pillar in the background, wearing the leopard skin of a maenad, with a bronze statue of Dionysus, based on the Ludovisi Dionysus, in front of a view of distant hills.
The painting depicts a (probably invented) episode in the life of the Roman emperor Elagabalus, also known as Heliogabalus, taken from the Augustan History. Although the Latin refers to "violets and other flowers", Alma-Tadema depicts Elagabalus smothering his unsuspecting guests with rose petals released from a false ceiling. The original reference is this:
Oppressit in tricliniis versatilibus parasitos suos violis et floribus, sic ut animam aliqui efflaverint, cum erepere ad summum non possent.
In a banqueting-room with a reversible ceiling he once buried his guests in violets and other flowers, so that some were actually smothered to death, being unable to crawl out to the top.