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Sacrifice of Iphigenia

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Sacrifice of Iphigenia
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Photo Comments

View of a beautiful fresco from a wall of the peristyle courtyard of The House of the Tragic Poet.  The scene depicts Iphigenia, the daughter of Agamemnon, being carried off to be sacrificed so that there would be favorable winds for the Greeks as they set sail for Troy.

Iphigenia is being carried off by two men, Ulysses and either Achilles or Diomedes.  On the right is the priest Calchas dressed in a long red tunic with a white apron tied around his waist.  In his left hand is a knife to be used for the sacrifice.  On the far right side of the image a vertical portion of the altar is visible.

On the left is Agamemnon weeping for his daughter.  He has his back to the whole scene and is leaning back on a column with a statue of Artemis on it.  In the sky, on the right, is Artemis and on the left is a Nymph who is leading a doe that Artemis is providing as a substitute for Iphigenia!