Plutarch’s Lives in Paint: From Theseus to Caius Marius

The Eclectic Light Company

Over the last six months, I have been summarising some of the biographies in Plutarch’s Lives (or Parallel Lives, if you prefer) and showing some of the great paintings which have been made in response. In this and next week’s articles to close this series, I include excerpts which tell some of the more memorable stories, with the very best of the paintings. I hope that you enjoy this small selection.

Theseus, founding father of Athens

Theseus was a swashbuckling hero who went through life with the aid of a series of murders and more than a couple of rapes too. He became a close friend of Peirithoüs, and when the latter married Deidameia, he invited Theseus to the wedding in the country of the Lapiths.

Unfortunately, Peirithoüs also invited some centaurs to the feast, and when they had too much to drink, they started to carry off Lapith women…

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