Hero and Leander

William Etty


Oil on canvas

Dimensions h 77 x w 95 cm

Private collection,

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Each night Leander would swim across a streach of sea to meet his lover Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite. She would guide him by holding up a lighted torch. One night, during a storm, Leander drowned. The grief-stricken Hero threw herself from a tower. Here, the two dead lovers are shown in their tragic, final embrace, as their lives drift away. The tones of their glowing, sensual skin are set off against a sombre sea and storm clouds. The black hair and drapery of Hero seem to merge into the dark shadows. (The Art Book Phaidon Press. p. 152. ISBN 0714836257 )

Mythology Images

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