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Lot 10: John Roddam Spencer Stanhope (1829-1908)
IMPORTANT BRITISH & IRISH ART
November 28, 2001
London, United Kingdom
Description: The Escape pencil, watercolour and bodycolour 253/4 x 17 in. (65.6 x 43.2 cm.) NOTES The subject is obscure. The obvious identification when figures, like these, seem to be emerging from Hades, is Orpheus and Euridice, but the male figure here has no lyre, nor would he be carrying Euridice in his arms. Hercules and Alcestis have also been suggested; in Euripides' play, Hercules descends to the underworld to wrestle with Death for Alcestis's body, and then brings her back to her husband, Admetus, on earth. However, the youth in our picture is far from being a muscle-bound superman, and Admetus is conspicuous by his absence. On stylistic grounds the picture can probably be dated to about 1900.