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Achilles among the Daughters of Lycomedes

Henry Benbridge, American, 1743 - 1812

Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America

c. 1758-1764

Oil on canvas

26 1/4 x 42 1/4 inches (66.7 x 107.3 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the J. Stogdell Stokes Fund, the Edith H. Bell Fund, and the Katharine Levin Farrell Fund, 1990

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Henry Benbridge's scene, which derives from the Greek epic tradition on the Trojan War, is one of the most baroque compositions painted in the Delaware Valley during the eighteenth century. The painting is a copy, in reverse, of a tapestry design by Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577-1640). In the painting, Achilles has been disguised as a woman and hidden among the daughters of King Lycomedes at the behest of his mother, who knows that he is fated to die if he goes to Troy. Achilles betrays himself by showing too much interest in a helmet and becomes one of Greece's great warriors.