- Museum number
King Candaules showing his wife to Gyges; interior with nude woman seated on edge of bed, King lying under covers, young man stealing around corner of back of bed to leave the room
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, over graphite
- Production date
Height: 240 millimetres
Width: 292 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The drawing illustrates a story in Herodotus' 'Histories' (1.7-13): Candaules, king of Lydia, was so proud of the beauty of his wife that he invited Gyges, a member of his bodyguard, to see her naked in their bedchamber. Gyges against his will acceded to his master's wish but was seen leaving the room by the queen. The next day the queen told Gyges that he should either kill the king and taker her as his wife, or die as a punishment for the blind obedience to his master. Gyges chose the former option and murdered his master while he was sleeping, with the connivance of the queen, and took over his kingdom.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1995-6 Nov-Apr, BM, Recent Acquisitions (no cat.)
2015 July-Sep, BM, 'Unity and Simplicity: Neoclassicism in Europe'.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era.
This drawing was presented to the Department with 1994-4-9-6 in honour of Mr Nicholas Turner, Deputy Keeper, who was leaving the Museum at the end of the month after 20 years service.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number