Death of Oenomaus.

WAG 7654


This is part of a group of drawings by British artist and book illustrator Edward Francis Burney, depicting scenes from Greek and Roman history and mythology. Oenomaus was king of the Greek region of Pisa. A prophecy stated that he would be killed by his son-in-law, so he agreed that his daughter could marry anyone who was able to beat him in a chariot race. If they lost he would be entitled to kill them, and in this way he dispatched 18 prospective sons-in-law. Pelops, the next suitor, had the use of Poseidon's chariot, which was drawn by winged horses. Pelops bribed Myrtilos, Oenomaus's charioteer, to replace his chariot's linchpins with wax dummies so that the wheels came loose. Oenomaus was dragged to his death by his horses, and Pelops married his daughter and won his kingdom.