POUSSIN, Nicolas
(b. 1594, Les Andelys, d. 1665, Roma)

Theseus Finding His Father's Sword

c. 1635
Oil on canvas, 98 x 134 cm
Musée Condé, Chantilly

The scene shows the Greek hero Theseus lifting a great stone to which his mother Aithra has led him. His father. King Aegeus, had hidden his sword and sandals beneath it before Theseus' birth, to enable him to identify his illegitimate son later on: if the latter was strong enough to lift the stone and bring the items back to him, Aegeus would recognize him as his son and make him the heir to his throne.

This painting was executed with the collaboration of Jean Lemaire.