Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys (British, 1829-1904) Penelope 48.5 x 42 cm. (19 x 16 1/2 in.)

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Lot 97
Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys
(British, 1829-1904)
Penelope 48.5 x 42 cm. (19 x 16 1/2 in.)

Sold for £ 9,360 (US$ 11,314) inc. premium
Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys (British, 1829-1904)
Penelope
signed 'F. Sandys' l.r. and inscribed 'ПηvΕΛóπה' u.r.
coloured chalk
48.5 x 42 cm. (19 x 16 1/2 in.)

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Frost and Reed, London.

    The present work has strong similarities with a chalk drawing of Alcestis illustrated in Betty Elzea, Frederick Sandys, A Catalogue Raisonné, London, 2001, pl.50, dated July 1877. Similar foliage (possibly an orange blossom tree) appears in the background and there is a Greek inscription meaning Alcestis within a scroll to the upper right. The Greek inscription to the top right of the present work means Penelope.

    Both pictures are symbols of faithful and selfless womanhood. In Homer's Odyssey, Penelope is the loyal wife of Odysseus who, during the long period of her husband's travels, had faith in his return and resisted many suitors. Euripides's drama Alcestis tells how the wife of the King of Thessaly offered her life to the Fates in place of her mortally ill husband, but was rescued from death by Hercules. Sandys clearly wanted to make a link between the two fictitious figures. Both women are a paradigm of wifely sacrifice and devotion.

    Two other versions of Penelope are illustrated in the Sandys catalogue raisonné, nos 3.77 and 3.78. The first of these is a pair to a version of Alcestis (pl.51 cat. raisonné).
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