Wood, Francis Derwent
Europe, United Kingdom, England
First floor: Victorian
Atalanta about 1888
Francis Derwent Wood 1871-1926
According to ancient myth
Atalanta was a famous athelete and hunter.
She was determined never to marry
but her beauty attracted many suitors.
To win Atalanta's hand in marriage
any suitor had to beat her in a running race.
She was so fast they always lost and were killed
until Venus, the goddess of love, helped Hippomenes.
She gave him three golden apples
which he dropped one by one during the race.
Atalanta was unable to resist slowing to pick them up.
Although the sculpture has chosen a classical subject
he has created Atalanta as a modern, muscular woman
rather than conventionally smoothed and idealised.
Presented through the National Art Collections Fund 1919.2