Playing on

Orestes and Pylades Disputing at the Altar

Pieter Lastman1614



Pieter Lastman has taken a scene from a story by the Greek dramatist Euripides. This is the story of Iphigenia and her brother Orestes. Iphigenia is standing on the right beside the altar. She is a priestess to the goddess Artemis. Two men are
standing on the left: Orestes and his friend Pylades. One of them must be sacrificed on the altar. They are arguing about which of them should sacrifice himself for the other. The executioner has his club ready and the fire is already burning furiously. Iphegenia has not yet realised that her brother is standing opposite her. In the end she recognises Orestes and escapes with him and Pylades.

Show lessRead more


  • Title: Orestes and Pylades Disputing at the Altar
  • Creator: Pieter Lastman
  • Date Created: 1614
  • Style: Northern Netherlands School
  • Provenance: …; sale, Reinier van der Wolff (?-1679, Rotterdam), Amsterdam (auction house not known), 15 May 1676, no. 15 ('De Historie van Pylades en Orestes, vol Figuren'), fl. 900; …; sale, Jan Six (1618-1700), Lord of Vromade and Wimmenum, Amsterdam (J.P. Zomer), 6 April 1702, no. 32 ('Orestes en Pylades, een Weerga, van de zelve [Lastman]'), fl. 200; ...; sale, Gerard Godart, Baron Taets van Amerongen, Heer van Oud-Amelisweerd (1729-1804), Amsterdam (p. van der Schley et al.), 3 July 1805, no. 104 ('Een ryke Ordinantie van een menigte Beelden, voorstellende een dito [Heydensche] Offerhanden, meede in een Bergachtig Landschap, met een Tempel [...] op paneel, hoog 33, breed 49 duim [84.8 x 125.9 cm]'), fl. 13, to Francesco Tozelli; ...; collection, Consul Meyer-Puhiera; ...; collection, General Von Bredow; ...; sale, Galerie Fritz Gerstel, Berlin (Keller & Reiner), 21 January 1908 sqq., no. 44, bought in; from Galerie Fritz Gerstel, fl. 1,790, to the museum, through the mediation of the Vereniging Rembrandt, March 1908
  • Physical Dimensions: w1261 x h832 mm
  • Original Title: De offerstrijd tussen Orestes en Pylades
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: See more on the Rijksmuseum website
  • Medium: oil on panel


Translate with Google