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In classical mythology Ganymede was a handsome shepherd who was abducted by Jupiter, in the form of an eagle, and was taken to Olympus to be cup-bearer to the gods. Westmacott was one of the leading neo-classical sculptors in London. After three years in Italy he established himself as a scholar of Greek and Roman antiquities and won numerous commissions, such as the huge Achilles which remains in Hyde Park. This relief was presented to the Royal Academy as his Diploma Work when he was elected a Royal Academician in 1811.