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William Theed (1764-1817)

Thetis returning from Hephaestus with the arms of Achilles 1805-12

RCIN 71833

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The motif of a triton pulling a shell was one that Theed employed repeatedly, not only for full-scale sculpture but also for smaller objects such as salts for George’s great dining service, or in the architectural details at Buckingham Palace. Here he invokes a moment from Homer’s Iliad, showing Thetis, the mother of the Greek hero Achilles, in despair, knowing that her mortal son will soon die.

Purchased c.1829