Oenone and Paris. A.M. 2820.

WAG 7698


This is one of a group of drawings by British artist and book illustrator Edward Francis Burney, depicting scenes from Greek and Roman history and mythology. This composition was used for a headpiece in 'Le Souvenir', a memorandum book published by Suttaby, Evance, Fox, Richardson/London in 1822, on the page for 1st July. Oenone was a prophetic nymph and the first wife of Paris. Oenone knew that Paris would leave her to sail to Greece to abduct Helen of Troy. When the time came for him to leave, Oenone warned Paris that he would suffer a wound that only she could heal. During his journey Paris was struck by an arrow and sent a messenger to summon Oenone. She did not arrive in time to save him and the remorse at seeing his dead body drove her to kill herself.