Hector taking leave of Andromache: the Fright of Astyanax

Benjamin West American

Not on view

Inspired by book 6 of the Iliad, West shows the Trojan prince Hector armed to fight the besieging Greeks. His wife Andromache clings to her husband's arm and their infant son shrinks from his father's helmet. Rigorously drawn, and boldly shaded in wash and watercolor, the drawing relates to a painting, now lost, exhibited in 1767. The emotionally charged, antique subject responds to the neoclassical taste that captivated artists and aesthetes in Rome, Paris and London at this period. West--a Pennsylvania Quaker who had moved to London--rose to prominence by mastering the new style.

Hector taking leave of Andromache: the Fright of Astyanax, Benjamin West (American, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 1738–1820 London), Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash and blue watercolor, touches of gouache (bodycolor), over traces of black chalk

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