Nov 1, 2021

The Sacrifice of Polyxena

The Sacrifice of Polyxena


Gerard de Lairesse

(Flemish, 1641–1711)


Platemark: 30.5 x 38.7 cm (12 x 15 1/4 in.); Sheet: 33.1 x 41.4 cm (13 1/16 x 16 5/16 in.)

L. E. Holden Fund 2021.169

Catalogue raisonné: Hollstein 52

State: II/VI


Did you know?

Gerard de Lairesse was called the “Dutch Poussin” for his role in bringing a French artistic style to the Netherlands in the late 17th century.


After the fall of Troy, the Trojan women were divided among the Greeks. Achilles arose from his grave and demanded that Polyxena, the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba, be slain on his tomb in order to join him in the afterlife. Behind a blindfolded Polyxena who awaits her fate on a sacrificial altar in this image, Achilles appears in warrior’s garb on a rearing horse. The Dutch De Lairesse’s figures are firmly modeled, and the space clearly defined with classical architecture, and reflect his interest in French art of the same period.

See also
PR - Etching
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
L. E. Holden Fund

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