Pylades and Orestes Brought as Victims before Iphigenia was painted by Benjamin West in 1766. According to Sir George Beaumont (1753–1827), who presented the present picture to the National Gallery in 1826, the young American artist, Benjamin West, painted Pylades and Orestes ‘immediately on his arrival in England’, presumably in 1763, when he arrived from Italy (National Gallery, p.56). It was first shown at the annual exhibition of the Society of Artists, London, in 1766, with its companion the Continence of Scipio (Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum). West’s narrative is taken from the third act of a play by the classical author Euripides (480–406 BC) entitled Iphigenia in Tauris. buy famous reproduction paintings online
In the passage depicted by West, Iphigenia, a priestess of Diana, stands in judgement before the semi-naked figures of her brother Orestes (in the red drapery) and his cousin and companion, Pylades, who are brought before her, bound, by the shepherd (centre) who had previously reported their capture. Before Iphigenia, and separating her from the two men, is a low altar upon which the two men are to be sacrificed for their act of sacrilege. Beyond, at the entrance of the temple, is the gold statue of Diana that Orestes had been commanded by the oracle at Delphi to take back to Athens in reparation for the murder of his mother Clytemnestra, and which he had been attempting to seize when arrested. oil painting reproductions sale
In composing Pylades and Orestes West was heavily influenced by the neo-classical history paintings of Gavin Hamilton (1723–98) and Anton Raphael Mengs (1728–79), whom he had known during his studies in Italy between 1760 and 1763. He also looked for inspiration to the frescoes of Raphael (1483–1520) and classical relief sculpture, notably the Orestes Sarcophagus in the Villa Ridolfi, Rome, drawings from which he used to form the pose of his own figure of Orestes. West also revealed later that ‘his mind was full of Correggio’ when painting the present work, at least with respect to the colour of the figures’ flesh. This painting can be reproduced on canvas by Daydaypaint.com. Original Dimensions: Height: 100.3 cm, Width: 126.4 cm. Other sizes and custom sizes are available, Please Contact with us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.