Pierre-Paul Prud’hon, the Erynies
The Erynies: Alecto, Tisiphone, Megaera by Pierre-Paul Prud’hon (French, 1758-1823) oil on canvas. France, late 18th century Measures: H 10.75; W 6 in., The Erynies are the three Furies of Roman and Greek mythology; female spirits of Justice and Vengeance. Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaera are the names of three Erynies, and each embody the process of vengeance. Alecto is endless, Tisiphone is punishment and Megaera is jealous rage. They are usually portrayed as three monstrous creatures with coal-black skin, bat wings, and serpent hair. In Pierre-Paul Prud’hon’s portrayal of the Erynies, he painted three youthful, nude women, entangled in one another and joined by one serpent-like creature in the background. It is an example of the allegorical paintings Prud’hon was most appreciated for. He was Napoleon’s court painter and his work is now exhibited in places such as the Louvre.