Clytemnestra about to murder Agamemnon

This painting, which recalls the work of Fuseli as well as David, depicts the moment when Clytemnestra is about to murder her unsuspecting husband Agamemnon with the aid of her lover Aegisthis. In Pierre-Narcisse Guérin’s composition, Agamemnon slumbers, his weapons laid out beside him, unaware of his imminent death while his assassins creep into his room. Guérin employs a rich palette of burnt orange and crimson to highlight the partially drawn curtain aglow with candlelight. The tripartite division of the scene is also beautiful, where each sector is reserved for a character and the relative role he occupies in the dramatic story. 1822 circa, oil on canvas, private collection.

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