Candaules, King of Lydia, Shews his Wife by Stealth to Gyges, One of his
Ministers, as She Goes to Bed is a painting by English artist William
Etty, first exhibited in 1830. It shows a scene from the Histories by
Herodotus, in which Candaules, king of Lydia, invites his bodyguard
Gyges to hide in the couple's bedroom and watch his wife Nyssia undress.
After Nyssia notices Gyges, he kills Candaules and takes his place as
king. The painting shows the moment at which Nyssia, unaware of Gyges,
removes the last of her clothes. Etty hoped to impart the moral that
women are not chattels and that men violating their rights should be
punished, but he made little effort to explain this to audiences. The
painting was immediately controversial, seen as a cynical combination of
pornography and a violent unpleasant narrative, and critics condemned it
as an immoral work of the type they would not expect from a British
artist. In 1929 it was among several artworks transferred to the newly
expanded Tate Gallery, where it remains.
Today's selected anniversaries:
The deadliest earthquake in history killed about 830,000 people
in Shaanxi Province, China.
The Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia partitioned the
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth for the second time.
The Chilembwe uprising, regarded as a key moment in the history
of Malawi, began as rebels, led by a minister, attacked local plantation
World War II: Japan began its invasion of the island of New
Britain in the Australian Territory of New Guinea.
USS Pueblo was seized by North Korean forces, who claimed that
it had violated their territorial waters while spying.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. Speaking a language one does not know, or speaking elaborate but
apparently meaningless speech, while in a trance-like state (or,
supposedly, under the influence of a deity or spirits); speaking in
2. Xenoglossy (“knowledge of a language one has never learned”).
Wikiquote quote of the day:
He had never seen a "Fallout," and he hoped he'd never see one. A
consistent description of the monster had not survived, but Francis had
heard the legends. … Brother Francis visualized a Fallout as half-
salamander, because, according to tradition, the thing was born in the
Flame Deluge, and as half-incubus who despoiled virgins in their sleep,
for, were not the monsters of the world still called "children of the
Fallout"? That the demon was capable of inflicting all the woes which
descended upon Job was recorded fact, if not an article of creed.
--Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Show replies by date