Orestes' revenge


Agamemnon, who sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia to secure a favorable wind toward Troy, returns home after the war. During the festive home-coming party he and his mistress Cassandra are killed by his wife, Clytemnestra, and his cousin, Aigisthos. Clytemnestra wants to kill her son Orestes as well, but Orestes' sister Electra helps him escape. Years later, Orestes secretly returns from exile, and together with his cousin Pylades he kills Clytemnestra and Aigisthos. Avenging Furies of Clytemnestra chase Orestes to Delphi and from there to Athens, where, at the instigation of Apollo, Athena establishes a court of law for the trial of homicide cases and Orestes is found innocent. As a result of this verdict, the Avenging Furies change into "Kindly Spirited Ones" and democracy and peace are reestablished. 

Oil on canvas 100 x 120

Oil on canvas 80 x 90

Oil on canvas 80 x 110

Oil on canvas 60 x 70

From Dionysian to Apollonian: Hofhuizen’s painting from 1967 is characterized by straight, angular, flat lines and “chaos”, while the later ones are characterized by rounder forms, more colors, more use of shadows and “order”. In 1974 Electra is given a prominent place at the centre. Orestes is still killing his mother on the left, and Pylades is still taking care of Aighistos on the right. The classical drama of Orestes as seen through the eyes of Willem Hofhuizen.