Richard Westall

The Reconciliation of Helen and Paris after his Defeat by Menelaus

exhibited 1805

Medium
Oil paint on wood
Dimensions
Support: 1270 x 1010 mm
frame: 1472 x 1240 x 94 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1956
Reference
T00088

Display caption

In Greek legend, the beautiful Helen was the wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta. Her affair with the Trojan prince, Paris, led to the Trojan War.Westall painted this picture for Thomas Hope, a fabulously wealthy collector of the antique and of selected contemporary art. Hope’s taste ran from strict neo-classicism to Romantic exoticism. The rooms of his London house were furnished and decorated to reflect various regions of the ancient world – Egypt and India as well as Greece and Rome. Westall modelled the figure of Helen on a Greek statue in Hope’s collection.

Gallery label, May 2007