William Etty
The Parting of Hero and Leander exhibited 1827

Artwork details

William Etty 1787–1849
The Parting of Hero and Leander
Date Exhibited 1827
Medium Oil paint and metal leaf on canvas
Dimensions Support: 864 x 864 x 26 mm
frame: 1184 x 1184 x 185 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1945
Not on display

Display caption

Hero was a beautiful priestess of Venus who lived at Sestos. She was deeply in love with a youth called Leander who lived at Abydos on the opposite shore of the Hellespont - a narrow strip of water now known as the Dardanelles. The lovers would meet at Sestos by night after Leander had swum across the channel, guided by a burning torch which Hero held aloft. One night, returning home, Leander was drowned in a storm.

January 1990

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