Sir James Thornhill
Thetis Accepting the Shield of Achilles from Vulcan c.1710

Artwork details

Sir James Thornhill 1675 or 76–1734
Thetis Accepting the Shield of Achilles from Vulcan
Date c.1710
Medium Oil paint on wood
Dimensions Support: 489 x 498 mm
frame: 735 x 765 x 97 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1965
Not on display

Display caption

This oil sketch depicts a scene from the Trojan wars as described in Homer’s Iliad. The nymph Thetis has persuaded Vulcan, the blacksmith of the gods, to make a set of impregnable armour for her son Achilles.This was probably a design for the decoration of the staircase at Hanbury Hall, Worcestershire. Towards the end of the seventeenth century it had become fashionable to paint the walls and ceilings of important buildings with historical or mythological scenes. Thornhill was the first major British artist to gain favour for painting in this highly ornate Baroque style.

May 2007

About this artwork