Harry Bates, A.R.A
Height: 32 inches; 53 cm; width: 10 l/4 inches; 26cm wide
Victoria & Albert Museum (anonymous loan)
Beattie (54) provides the title, which might better be “Hector's farewell to his family,” since the bas relief depicts the Trojan hero, his wife Andromache, and their son, Astyanax, with Hector leaving for his battle with Achilles. We know the man with helmet and shield is Hector because (1) a small bas-relief at the bottom shows Achilles dragging Hector behind the chariot and (2) his name (“Ektor”) is inscribed at lower right. Interestingly. Bates omits the plume on his father's helmet that scares Astyanax — one of the most famous scenes in The Iliad.
The catalogue for the Sotheby's Belgravia sale of 18 May 1975 described the work as follows: “AN ENGLISH BRONZE PLAQUE OF A WARRIOR WITH HIS FAMILY by Harry Bates, the nude warrior holding a shield and walking away from a classically-draped woman holding a child, the base with a chariot and titled in Greek . . . in architectural mahogany frame; signed Harry Bates fecit, 1887.“
Photograph by George P. Landow. Text by Robert Freidus and Landow.