Hector, son of the King of Troy, prepares to go to battle. He wears his plumed helmet and holds a spear. He stands hand-in-hand with Andromache, his devoted wife, in front the gates of Troy. A nurse is holding their son Astyanax. The child prefers to look into her eyes rather than towards his father, perhaps because he is attired for war.
The scene depicts an episode from Homer's epic poem 'The Iliad'. The first owner of the picture, Theresa Parker, declared in letter to her brother: 'The prettiest and I think the best she [Angelica Kauffman] ever did is the painting of Hector and Andromache.'
The painting was exhibited at the Royal Society of Arts in 1768 and at the first Royal Academy exhibition in 1769. The artist was the co-founder of the Royal Academy and a friend of Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Where to see this painting?
National Trust, Saltram
Plympton, Plymouth, Devon, England, PL7 1UH
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.