Polynices Interred by Antigone. A.M. 2779.

WAG 7688


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. Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus, is seen burying the body of her brother, Polynices, in direct defiance of Creon, the King of Thebes. As a punishment for her transgressions Creon decrees Antigone will be buried alive in a cave, but the blind prophet Tiresias intervenes and persuades him not to carry out his plan. However, Antigone has already taken her own life. The story of Antigone was the subject of a tragedy written by the Greek playwright Sophicles in about 442 BC. See WAG 7687.