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Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: APF

Theseus Finding His Father’s Sword

ca. 1639-1641

Laurent de La Hyre

Laurent de La Hyre (1606–1656), one of the founders of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, painted his numerous biblical and mythological landscapes for a clientele of great collectors. This large work was painted to adorn the guards’ room in the Palais-Cardinal in Paris, the residence of Cardinal Richelieu. Hung on the rear wall with two other works by the same artist (now lost), it prolonged the architecture of the room, decorated with Doric columns, through its composition. It shows the young Theseus discovering the weapons and sandals of Aegeus, king of Athens, beneath a stone and learning from his mother that Aegeus was his father. The classical theme of the hero learning of his destiny was very popular in the 17th century.

Artwork Details

Artist: Laurent de La Hyre
Title: Theseus Finding His Father’s Sword
Geography: Paris, France
Date: ca. 1639-1641

Medium: oil on canvas

Classification: graphic arts (drawing, painting, engraving, calligraphy)
Dimensions: 205.4 x 162 cm
Inventory number: LAD 2013.006
Contact for images: [email protected]


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