Auction N.14 – Lot 106
Gioacchino Assereto, Achilles and the daughters of Lycomedes
The painting was en pendant with ‘King Alfonso of Castile and the Genoese in Almeria’, by the same painter and of the same size, in Carlo Bruzzo’s collection in Genoa in 1935.
The subject depicts an episode in Achilles’ life: the nymph Thetis, his mother, knowing the fate that awaited him if he went to battle in Toia, sent him to stay with Licomedes, king of Scriro. Here he hid among his daughters, disguising himself and being brought up as a woman.
The Pseudo-Apollodorus tells how Odysseus and Menelaus were sent by Agamemnon to Scyrus in an attempt to convince Achilles to go to war. Ulysses invented a stratagem for this purpose. He offered the king’s beautiful daughters jewellery and a sword, telling them to choose what they preferred.
Achilles, betrayed by a trumpet blast, betrayed himself and took up the sword, thus revealing his identity.
Oil on canvas, dimensions ext. 66,9×83, int. 55,1×71,6 in.