- Museum number
A sheet of preliminary sketches for Flaxman's illustrations titled 'Tragedies of Æschylus'; top left, Persians slain by the Greeks (Plate 30, Persians, 460), the rest of the sheet comprising graphite studies of Cassandra prophesying
Pen and grey ink, over graphite on Italian(?) watermarked paper with a dove, holding an olive branch in its beak and standing atop three monti, within a circle
Verso: Studies of seated figures and others with arms raised
- Production date
- 1793 (circa)
Height: 262 millimetres
Width: 190 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The design for 'The Defeat of the Persians' is a reversal of that on 1888,0503.4, with the Persians now in the bottom right-hand corner of the image rather than the left. The attacking Greeks are given much more legible form here, with four figures all posed in the same way.
The numerous sketches of Cassandra prophesying span a wide spectrum of finish, with both sparse outlines comprised of a minimum of lines and much more detailed figure studies including the delienation of facial features and the fall of drapery; the most finished has been worked over in ink, the only one of this subject on this sheet. Flaxman here seems to have been experimenting particularly with the action of Cassandra's arms.
Only the first subject engraved by Thomas Piroli and published by J Matthews, 441 Strand, Jan 12, 1795. Title page states: "The original drawings in the possession of the Countess Dowager Spencer". See the curatorial comment for 1888,0503.27 for further information about Flaxman's illustrations to Æschylus.
- Not on display
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Tragedies of Æschylus
Associated Title: Persians
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Probably Flaxman sale, Christie's, 11.iv.1862/part of lot 370, 19 in the lot, 'Illustrations to Aeschylus. First Thoughts: a collection of numerous small designs for nearly all the engraved subjects - in pen and blacklead on nineteen sheets' bt £9-9-0
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number