Here Turner moves from ancient Rome to Athens, at the same time apparently conflating two classical legends with characteristic freedom. Phryne, a famous courtesan, once celebrated the festival of Poseidon by going naked into the sea at Eleusis near Athens. Her near-contemporary Demosthenes once taunted Aeschynes, his rival as an orator, of being the son of a courtesan (but not of Phryne herself).
Find similar artworks
Joseph Mallord William Turner (41,861)