The Horses of Achilles

Achilles, the Greek hero, had two horses, Xanthus and Balius, which were the offspring of Zephyrus, a wind god. Homer 'Iliad', XVI, 146. The wind god, top right, is probably intended as a personification of Zephyrus.

Painted in Van Dyck's style of the 1620s, and perhaps executed in the second half of the 17th century or in the early 18th century, this picture is proof that Van Dyck's sketches were sought after and imitated at an early date.

Key facts

Artist dates
1599 - 1641
Full title
The Horses of Achilles
Date made
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
105.5 x 91.5 cm
Acquisition credit
Bequeathed by Lord Farnborough, 1838
Inventory number
Location in Gallery