The Sacrifice of Iphigenia

Gaetano Gandolfi Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 643

Using many of the Tiepolos’ compositional innovations, Gandolfi’s painting presents a story related by the ancient Greek playwright Euripides. Agamemnon’s daughter is about to be sacrificed to appease the goddess Artemis, who at the climactic moment appears and substitutes a deer on the altar. Daring foreshortening results in an unlikely compression of the figures and a suitably theatrical structure. This oil sketch was preparatory to a ceiling in the Palazzo Gnudi Scagliarini in Bologna. The frame designed for this painting was probably inspired by the plasterwork of the palace for which it was commissioned.

The Sacrifice of Iphigenia, Gaetano Gandolfi (Italian, San Matteo della Decima 1734–1802 Bologna), Oil on canvas

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