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2023-07-18 Snargl 0 minute 0 second

What does the Hypermnestra look like?

Hypermnestra is a character from Greek mythology, who was one of the 50 daughters of King Danaus of Argos.

She is known for sparing the life of her husband, Lynceus, on their wedding night, when her father ordered her and her sisters to kill their husbands, who were the sons of Danaus' twin brother, Aegyptus.

Hypermnestra disobeyed her father because Lynceus respected her wish to remain a virgin, or because she fell in love with him.

She helped him escape and was later put on trial by Danaus, but was acquitted with the help of Aphrodite.

She became the mother of Abas, the founder of the Danaid dynasty in Argos.

There are different depictions of Hypermnestra in ancient and modern art and literature.

In some cases, she is shown as a young woman with a sword or a dagger, symbolizing her dilemma between loyalty to her father and love for her husband.

In other cases, she is shown as a prisoner or a defendant, wearing chains or holding a letter that she wrote to Lynceus.

She is often associated with the colors white and red, representing purity and blood.

Some examples of artworks featuring Hypermnestra are:
  • Hypermnestra, Bibliothèque nationale de France: an illustration from the 15th century manuscript of Ovid's Heroides, showing Hypermnestra writing a letter to Lynceus while sitting on a bed with a dagger and a bloody sheet.
  • Hypermnestra and Lynceus, by Benjamin West: a painting from 1774, showing Hypermnestra holding a torch and guiding Lynceus out of the palace, while the other Danaids are killing their husbands in the background.
  • Hypermnestra, by John Flaxman: a drawing from 1793, showing Hypermnestra standing before a judge, with a sword in her hand and a snake around her waist, symbolizing her courage and wisdom.
  • Hypermnestra, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti: a painting from 1880, showing Hypermnestra as a young woman with long red hair, wearing a white dress and holding a letter in her hand, while looking at a portrait of Lynceus on the wall.

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