The Wallace Collection

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Cimon and Iphigenia (after Reynolds)
  • Richard Westall (1765 - 1836)
  • After Joshua Reynolds (1723 - 1792)
  • Cimon and Iphigenia (after Reynolds)
  • England
  • 1789 - 1836
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 21.3 x 25.8 cm
    Frame size: 53.5 x 60 x 11 cm
  • P566
  • Reserve Gallery
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • The subject of this painting is taken from the Giovanni Boccaccio’s collection of stories, the Decameron, dating from the 14th century. According to the first story of the fifth day, Cymon, of ‘a clownish mien’ was the son of a Cypriot lord and was confined to the country estates. He discovered the sleeping Iphigenia, as shown here, while out walking on a summer’s morning. Such was the power of Cymon’s instantaneous love for Iphigenia that he was transformed into an elegant courtier, allowing the pair to be married.

    This picture, traditionally attributed to Westall, is copied from a painting by Joshua Reynolds, which was presented to the Prince Regent (later George IV) by the artist’s niece in 1814 and is now in the Royal Collection. The original painting is an important example of Reynolds’s late works and was engraved on three occasions. Reynolds’s figure of Iphigenia demonstrates his knowledge and admiration for the work of the Italian Renaissance masters, principally Titian and Correggio. Another copy, by William Etty, is in the collection at York City Art Gallery.