Helen leaves for Troy
The Trojan prince Paris wins Helen as his reward for judging Aphrodite the winner in a beauty contest. Here, Paris sits by his ship while Helen is pushed along reluctantly, just another of the treasures Paris is stealing from Greece. Helen’s beauty has made her an object of male desire and a powerless tool that the gods use to destroy Troy. In other versions of the myth, Helen goes with Paris freely or even seduces him. Are her actions immoral, or is she wielding the only power a woman has in a world run by men? The artist of this funerary urn possibly depicted an unwilling Helen to symbolise the dead person reluctantly parting from life.
Relief from an Etruscan funerary urn Tufa limestone, Italy, about 125–100 BC
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