Benjamin West Cleombrotus Ordered into Banishment by Leonidas II, King of Sparta 1768

Artwork details

Artist
Benjamin West 1738–1820
Title
Cleombrotus Ordered into Banishment by Leonidas II, King of Sparta
Date 1768
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1384 x 1854 mm
frame: 1480 x 1935 x 77 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by W. Wilkins 1827
Reference
N00121
Not on display

Display caption

Benjamin West showed this painting at the second exhibition of the newly formed Royal Academy. After several years in Italy, West had established himself in London as the leading painter of subjects from classical history. His example, and the Academy’s teaching, encouraged numerous young British artists to study in Italy.
His subject is an incident from ancient Greek history. Leonidas, king of Sparta, was usurped by his son-in-law, Cleombrutus. When Leonidas returns looking for revenge, his daughter pleads for her husband’s life. Leonidas is moved by her tears, and commutes Cleombrutus’s death sentence to banishment.

September 2004

About this artwork