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The Trustees of the British Museum
Samuel Lacey (1787-1859) after Wilson
c.1836 (undated)
Etching and engraving
171 x 257 mm
6 3/4 x 10 1/8 in.
Niobe is kneeling in a clearing below rocks in an overcast landscape, her arm around her youngest daughter, looking up and defying Latona. Latona sits in clouds upper left, watching her son Apollo avenge her for the Theban Queen's boast that she was richer in her fourteen children than the goddess in her two. Apollo draws his bow to strike down another of the children, eight of whom are grouped near their mother, dead, grieving and dying, while a ninth tries, in vain, to flee on horseback across a bridge to left.
Acquired 1977
Lettered below the image with the title, 'NIOBE | WITNESSING THE DESTRUCTION OF HER CHILDREN BY THE DARTS OF APOLLO &c' | 'From the Original Picture by Wilson in' ['the National Gallery', trimmed through] and production detail: 'Engraved by S. Lacey'
D355 Figure Study for Niobe, National Museum Wales, Cardiff
E52 William Sharp and Samuel Smith after Wilson, Niobe, National Museum Wales, Cardiff
E54 William Sharp and Samuel Smith after Wilson, Niobe, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, New Haven
E79/3 John Charles Varrall after Wilson, Niobe, The British Museum
E86 William James Linton after Wilson, Destruction of the Children of Niobe, The British Museum
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P90B The Destruction of Niobe's Children, ex-National Gallery and other versions
This print is after P90B The Destruction of Niobe's Children, ex-National Gallery, London; destroyed 1944. It forms part of a series illustrating the collection of the National Gallery - probably that published in a catalogue by Jones & Co in 1836. In one edition of that book, however, the engraving was E79/3.
Anon: The National Gallery of Pictures by the Great Masters, presented by Individuals or purchased by Grant of Parliament, 1836, vol. 1, no. 1.
The inscription has been trimmed through