Andromache and Astyanax

Artist: Pierre Paul Prud'hon (French, Cluny 1758–1823 Paris)

Date: ca. 1798

Medium: Pen and gray ink with brush and brown wash over traces of black chalk

Dimensions: 11 3/4 x 8 5/8 in. (29.8 x 21.9 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Harry G. Sperling Fund, 1999

Accession Number: 1999.348

Description

Didot initially commissioned Prud'hon to design the frontispiece to The Works of Racine (1801–5) and five illustrations to the play Andromache. This design for Act 2 depicts the heroine embracing her son Astyanax and exclaiming that she still sees her dead husband in his features ("It is you, dear husband, whom I embrace"). This illustration was never published by Didot since the commission for Andromache was ultimately given to Girodet. However, Prud'hon used this drawing as the basis for the painting Andromache and Astyanax, which is in the Metropolitan's collection (25.110.14).

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