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.