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  • Thetis Takes Achilles from the Centaur Chiron

    Artist:
    Batoni, Pompeo Girolamo. 1708-1787
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    226,5x297,5 cm

Batoni, Pompeo Girolamo. 1708-1787

Thetis Takes Achilles from the Centaur Chiron

Italy, 1768-1770

This is the only known painting on this subject. The Russian Empress Catherine II commissioned the painting from Batoni and herself selected the theme, probably finding it in Giovanni Boccaccio's De Genealogia Deorum (The Genealogy of the Gods). In the 18th century scenes from the story of Achilles, hero of the Trojan War, were much in fashion. Achilles's mother, the goddess Thetis, gave him over to be brought up by the centaur Chiron. Learning that her son must die in the war against the Trojans she decided to deceive fate and removed the sleeping Achilles from Chiron, fleeing in a shell to the protection of King Lycomedes on the Island of Scyros. Forming the basis of Batoni's strict composition are two arches, the niche in the cave of Chiron with its herm, and the opening in the rocks, beyond which spreads the sea. The nymphs carefully carry the sleeping Achilles to the shell, while nearby, Thetis says farewell to Chiron. The ideal proportions of the figures recall ancient statues. The pure resonant colours of the robes - blue, red, white and pink - are set off against the calm brownish-grey of the cliffs.

School:

Title:

Thetis Takes Achilles from the Centaur Chiron

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

226,5x297,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1926; transferred from the Gatchina Palace

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-2608

Comment:

Pair to the painting "Continence of Scipio"

Category:

Collection: