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Maker(s):Bergé, Jacques; Bergé, Jacob (also known as)
Culture:Flemish (1693 - 1756)
Title:The Sacrifice of Iphigenia
Date Made:1736
Type:Sculpture
Materials:terracotta
Accession Number:  AC 1973.83
Credit Line:Museum purchase
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College
1973-83.jpg

Label Text:
This violent scene depicts an early episode from the Greek epic tale of the Trojan War. When a persistent calm prevented Greek ships from sailing to wage war on the enemy city of Troy, the prophet Calchas revealed to King Agamemnon that his daughter Iphigenia must be sacrificed to the goddess Artemis in order for favorable winds to blow. Bare-breasted Iphigenia, the central figure in this composition, is about to be stabbed by a Greek soldier as elderly Calchas looks on. Crowned Agamemnon stoically observes from the left, while Iphigenia’s mother, Clytemnestra, swoons at the right. The confirmation of Calchas’s prophecy is indicated by the waving banners in the background, evidence of the gathering winds that will propel the Greek army to their ten-year siege of Troy.
Bergé first studied in Paris and Rome before achieving success as a sculptor in Brussels. Here he sensitively rendered the classical myth in low relief on a decorative terracotta plaque. The dramatic tale of Iphigenia, which evokes both sorrow and wonder, was particularly popular in Europe during the eighteenth century and was also celebrated in monumental painting and opera.
PR, 2012

Tags:
narrative; figures; historical figures; tragedy

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=AC+1973.83

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