William Wetmore Story
On View: Special Exhibition Gallery, 5th Floor
In the middle of the nineteenth century, William Wetmore Story was the leading U.S. sculptor in Rome, internationally renowned for works inspired by classical literature, history, and mythology. This sculpture, taking on the subject of Polyxena, the youngest daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy, was typical of Story’s work.
According to Greek myth, Achilles fell in love with Polyxena and was offered her hand in marriage in exchange for ending the war between the Greeks and the Trojans. After Achilles was killed by Polyxena’s brother, his ghost vengefully demanded that she be sacrificed. Here she sits solemnly waiting to die.
statue: 54 1/2 x 24 x 44 1/2 in., 1303 lb. (138.4 x 61 x 113 cm, 591.04kg)
base: 31 x 23 x 44 in., 1701 lb. (78.7 x 58.4 x 111.8 cm, 771.57kg) (show scale)
Painted in black on front of base: "POLYXENA. / By / W. W. STORY."
Gift of George Freifeld
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William Wetmore Story (American, 1819-1895). Polyxena, 1873. Marble, statue: 54 1/2 x 24 x 44 1/2 in., 1303 lb. (138.4 x 61 x 113 cm, 591.04kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of George Freifeld, 05.240. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 05.240_bw.jpg)
overall, 05.240_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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