The Anger of Achilles
Recordings for Adults
It seems that David would first establish the underlying forms of the figures’ bodies before clothing them. Even in details, such as the eyes, the artist followed this principle. He first rendered Agamemnon’s eyes, then painted the eyelids over them, which gives them the convincing illusion of three-dimensionality.
There are numerous minor changes in The Anger of Achilles that occurred at a fairly late stage. The basic composition had already been established at this point, and David was refining the costumes and accessories. The most prominent change is the covering of Agamemnon’s bare shoulder with a red cloak secured by a gold coin clasp. This pentimento can be seen with the naked eye as dark diagonal streaks perpendicular to the red drapery’s folds. The decoration and shape of Achilles’ strap was changed from an oval-link strap studded with alternating diamond and oval-shaped gems to a straight-sided strap with a meander motif. The gold border of his robe was, in turn, transformed from a meander to a stepped pattern. David also shifted the position of Iphigenia’s eyes, possibly to heighten the poignancy of her emotional state.