21.6 x 27.9 cm (8 1/2 x 11 inches)
Gift of Mrs. Gustav Radeke
A radiant Jupiter sits on his throne in the heavens, ordering the floating figure of Dream to visit the Greek hero Agamemnon in his tent. Dream is to convey misleading advice to immediately attack the Trojans for a quick victory—a move that would spark the beginning of the ten-year Trojan War.
After working as a modeler for the ceramics manufactory Wedgwood and a brief stay in Rome, English sculptor and draftsman John Flaxman became famous for his line drawings illustrating classic literary works. His crisp, continuous outlines and minimal use of shading, influenced by engravings after Greek vases, conveyed a sense of classical purity. This final preparatory drawing was engraved by Thomas Piroli and published in a 1793 edition of Homer’s ancient poem, The Iliad.