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Polyxena

William Wetmore Story

American Art

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.
MEDIUM Marble
DATES 1873
DIMENSIONS 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)
SIGNATURE Unsigned
INSCRIPTIONS Painted in black on front of base: "POLYXENA. / By / W. W. STORY."
COLLECTIONS American Art
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Special Exhibition Gallery, 5th Floor
EXHIBITIONS
ACCESSION NUMBER 05.240
CREDIT LINE Gift of George Freifeld
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION 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)
IMAGE overall, 05.240_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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William Wetmore Story (American, 1819-1895). <em>Polyxena</em>, 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)