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Orestes and Pylades Disputing at the Altar, 1614, by Pieter

Orestes and Pylades Disputing at the Altar, 1614, by Pieter


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Orestes and Pylades Disputing at the Altar, 1614, by Pieter

Pieter Lastman (c.1583-1633). Dutch painter. Orestes and Pylades Disputing at the Altar, 1614. Rijksmuseum. Amsterdam. Holland

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Media ID 14335110

© Thaliastock / Mary Evans

1614 Altar Amsterdam Argue Diana Dispute Disputing Friends Friendship Holland Instrument Mythological Mythology Netherlandish Netherlands Offering Orestes Pieter Rijksmuseum Sacrifice Taurica Lastman Musical Myth Pylades


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EDITORS COMMENTS
Orestes and Pylades Disputing at the Altar," painted by Pieter Lastman in 1614, is a captivating masterpiece housed in the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam, Holland. This exquisite work of art transports us back to ancient Greece, where the age-old story of friendship and vengeance unfolds. The painting depicts Orestes and Pylades, two dear friends and companions, standing before an altar in the temple of Diana at Taurica or Taurida. The friends are embroiled in a heated dispute, their faces contorted with emotion as they argue over the sacrifice of a basket containing the head of Iphigenia, Orestes' sister, whom they had unknowingly avenged. The scene is filled with a sense of tension and turmoil. A crowd of onlookers gathers around the altar, their expressions ranging from shock and awe to curiosity and concern. In the background, a group of musicians plays a mournful tune on their instruments, adding to the somber atmosphere. Lastman masterfully captures the essence of the Greek mythological tale, using rich colors and intricate details to bring the figures and their story to life. The altar is adorned with flowers and a statue, while a jar and a fire burn nearby, symbolizing the offering and the sacrifice. This painting is a testament to the enduring power of art to transport us to another time and place, allowing us to experience the emotions and stories of the past in a deeply personal and moving way. The friendship between Orestes and Pylades, and the complex web of events that led to their dispute, continues to captivate audiences and inspire artists to this day. In this masterful work, Pieter Lastman invites us to reflect on the complexities of human relationships, the power of friendship, and the enduring legacy of Greek mythology.

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