Sarpedon, 1880–1900
Henri Peinte (1845–1912)
Image © Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

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In Greek mythology, Sarpedon was the son of Zeus, the king of the gods, and Laodamia, the daughter of Bellerophon. He was a Lycian prince and a hero in the Trojan War. As recounted in Homer’s Iliad, Book XVI, Sarpedon fought with distinction on the side of the Trojans but was slain by the Greek warrior Patroclus. A struggle took place for the possession of his body until Apollo rescued it from the Greeks, washed it, anointed it with ambrosia, and handed it over to Hypnos and Thanatos (Sleep and Death), who took it back to Lycia for funeral honours.

In this sculpture by Henri Peinte, Sarpedon is seen bending his bow with his quiver and arrows at his feet. Henri Peinte (1845-1912) was a French sculptor who regularly exhibited at the Salon.


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