Priam Pleads with Achilles for Hector's Body

Bertel Thorvaldsen1815

Thorvaldsens Museum

Thorvaldsens Museum
Copenhagen, Denmark

During the siege of Troy Achilles’ friend Patrocles was killed by Hector, the Trojan king Priam’s son. As revenge Achilles therefore killed Hector. The relief depicts how the old king Priam begs Achilles on his knees to turn over the body of his son. The relief is unique with its rhythm of the three figures on the left that like in a filmic sequence ends in the kneeling figure of Priam, and also the distance – physically and mentally – which exists between the elevated Greek hero and the old king. The themes of the relief are on a general level humility and mercifulness. Achilles in the end gives in to the plea of the father and hands over the body of the son.


  • Title: Priam Pleads with Achilles for Hector's Body
  • Creator Lifespan: 1770-11-19/1844-03-24
  • Creator Nationality: Danish
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Date Created: 1815
  • Sculptor: Bertel Thorvaldsen
  • Physical Dimensions: w193.5 x h93.5 cm (Complete)
  • Type: Relief
  • Rights: Thorvaldsens Museum

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