Thetis Transporting Arms for Achilles

William Theed the Elder British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 516

Led by a triton, the sea nymph Thetis carried weaponry and armor across the seas to her son Achilles, knowing that he would be among the last to die in the Trojan wars. Neo-classical sculptor William Theed shows her mourning, head bowed in grief, already knowing that her sacrifice is necessary. The subject had particular resonance in Britain in 1805 when Theed first exhibited the model for this bronze at the Royal Academy. This was the year of the Battle of Trafalgar when Horatio Nelson gave his life in Britain’s battle against Napoleon Bonaparte and the French.

Thetis Transporting Arms for Achilles, William Theed the Elder (British, 1764–1817), Bronze, British

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