Thursday, 1 December 2022

Thursday 1st December - Clytemnestra

 Welcome to Stabvent, a lovely Christmas-y stroll through murder and mayhem because honestly, what says Christmas like the potential for a murderous rampage? If some of these images were put on Christmas cards, I think it would all be a bit more realistic and might dial back some of the comments and general stresses we all get via this merry festive season.  Happy Christmas, I may snap at any time.  Anyway, let's crack on so we can all have a mince pie and some mulled wine before the red mist descends...

Clytemnestra (1882) John Collier

Oh yes, if this lass was on top of the Christmas tree there would be no comments about whether someone of my stature should be having any Christmas cake.  Here we have Clytemnestra, twin sister of Helen of Troy, obviously fed up of all the Christmas dinner conversation being about her sister and how pretty she is. Actually, here she is having slaughtered her husband Agamemnon with a chuffing big axe-y thing.  He massively deserved it, I don't mean to victim blame, but he is one of those frankly appalling men in history who think it's a jolly fine idea to sacrifice their children for their own benefit.

Murder of Agamemnon (1817) Pierre-Narcisse Guérin

He also went off and kidnapped Cassandra, the seer, as part of his spoils of war, so honestly there was a lot going on in that marriage.  Clytemnestra marries her husband's cousin and then is murdered by her son. The son then gets pursued by the Furies, so that is not a family you'd want to be around at Christmas anyway, in all honesty. There are not enough mince pies for all of that nonsense.

Orestes Pursued by the Furies (1862) William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Collier accompanied his 1882 image with the following lines from the play by Aeschylus - 'Him twice I smote – twice groaning prone he fell, / With limbs relaxed; then, prostrate where he lay, / Him with third blow I dowered, votive gift / To Hades, guardian of the dead below.' Good Lord, Love, have a bit of a sit down, that's all a bit intense.  Collier loved the subject so much he went and painted the murderous Lovely all over again

Clytemnestra (1914) John Collier

Put 'em away, Love. There's always one, isn't there? But then if my twin sister was Helen of Troy, I might end up being a bit of an attention seeker too.  I'm guessing they are not identical twins or else that would have made matters very confusing for poor Paris. Mind you, there is another chap who might have benefitted from meeting the chuffing big axe before he started up a massive war. I also have to say that, despite the dripping sword and off-stage murdering, I rather like Clytemnestra's skirt in the second painting, although it's December and I'll be wearing my cardigan.

Try not to murder anyone and I'll catch you tomorrow...


  1. Yay! Stabvent! I love all your advent themes.
    What is with these ladies always flashing their bits? (Probably more down to the male artists...) It's obvious that she lives in a nice warm country where she doesn't have to worry about spiralling heating bills. Not a look that we should copy, I feel.
    I am looking forward to seeing what other delights you present us with during Stabvent.
    Best wishes

  2. Oh how I laughed at your 'Put 'em away, Love' at the Clytemnestra with the topless Minoan style garb. Reminded me of that bit in the vintage film 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' where flashing was obviously one woman's party trick, met with the withering put-down, 'Here come those tired old tits again'. I have been know to mutter the same myself when it's sale time at the shop where I work, reincarnation wouldn't be in it. Greetings!


Many thanks for your comment. I shall post it up shortly! Kx