Fantasy Art: The Sacrifice of Iphigenia

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Fantasy Art: The Sacrifice of Iphigenia

Iphigenia in Greek Mythology

Iphigenia is a daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra in Greek mythology. In Attic accounts, Her name means “strong-born”, “born to strength”, or “she who causes the birth of strong offspring.”

The episode of Iphigenia and Cymon that inspired such painters as Benjamin West (1773), John Everett Millais (1848) and Frederic Leighton (1884) is not a Greek myth, but a novella taken from Boccaccio’s Decameron and developed later by the poet and dramatist John Dryden.

The tale intended to demonstrate the power of love. As Iphigenia sleeps in a grove by the sea, a noble, but coarse and unlettered Cypriot youth, Cymon, seeing Iphigenia’s beauty, falls in love with her. Cymon, by the power of love, becomes an educated and polished courtier.

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