Sir William Russell Flint R.A., P.R.W.S. (British, 1880-1969)
The Lemnian Woman signed 'W Russell Flint-' (lower right) chalk 23 x 30.5 cm. (9 x 12 in.)
Lemnian women (ie. of the Greek island Lemnos) are known in Hellenic legend for insulting Aphrodite. As the myth goes, the women of Lemnos ignored the sect of Aphrodite, who in anger punished them by causing them to carry with them an intolerable smell. Their husbands shunned them and went to the mainland (Thrace) to find local women, with whom to have children. The Lemnians went into a jealous rage and killed every man and Thracian woman on the island. From this barbarous act, the expression 'Lemnian deeds' became proverbial among the Hellenes. The Argonauts, who were Greek voyagers prior to the time of Odysseus, visited the island that was now only women. In search of the Golden Fleece, the men soon were drawn to the Lemnian women. After the Argonauts departed and continued on their journey the Lemnian women found enjoyment in male activities such as looking after cattle and plowing for corn.