Hector Taking Leave of Andromache

Image credit: National Trust Images

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Hector, son of the King of Troy, prepares to go to battle. He wears his plumed helmet and holds a spear. He stands hand-in-hand with Andromache, his devoted wife, in front the gates of Troy. A nurse is holding their son Astyanax. The child prefers to look into her eyes rather than towards his father, perhaps because he is attired for war.

The scene depicts an episode from Homer's epic poem 'The Iliad'. The first owner of the picture, Theresa Parker, declared in letter to her brother: 'The prettiest and I think the best she [Angelica Kauffman] ever did is the painting of Hector and Andromache.'

The painting was exhibited at the Royal Society of Arts in 1768 and at the first Royal Academy exhibition in 1769. The artist was the co-founder of the Royal Academy and a friend of Sir Joshua Reynolds.

National Trust, Saltram



Hector Taking Leave of Andromache




oil on canvas


H 134.5 x W 178 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

accepted in lieu of death duties on the estate of Edmund, 4th Earl of Morley; transferred from HM Treasury, 1957

Work type



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Normally on display at

National Trust, Saltram

Plympton, Plymouth, Devon PL7 1UH England

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