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Aertsen’s drawings are characterised by their smooth, elegant style. His elongated, mannerist figures earned Aertsen his nickname, ‘Lange Pier’ (Tall Pieter). The drawing depicts the principal scene from the tragedy Iphigenea in Aulis by the Greek dramatist Euripides. Iphigenea was to be sacrificed to placate Artemis, goddess of the hunt. Here we see King Agamemnon, leader of the Greek armies, raising his sword to run his daughter through.

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