Priam Supplicating Achilles for the Body of Hector

Giuseppe Girometti Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 554

In The Iliad Homer tells of King Priam of Troy visiting the tent of the Greek hero Achilles to beg him for the body of his eldest son, the great warrior Hector, whom Achilles had killed and then dragged back to his camp. Achilles, attended here by one of his warriors, Automedon or Alcimus, took pity on the old king and ordered the corpse to be bathed and returned to him. Girometti turned again to Bertel Thorvaldsen, this time creating a capital stripped-down version, with several variations, of the sculptor’s marble relief of 1815 at Woburn Abbey. The purplish ground provides a magisterial backdrop for the white figures.

Priam Supplicating Achilles for the Body of Hector, Giuseppe Girometti (Italian, Rome 1780–1851 Rome), Onyx, gold, Italian, Rome

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