The Destruction of the Children of Niobe is a painting by Richard Wilson, created in 1760. It depicts the Greek myth of the murder of Niobe's daughters by the goddess Artemis and her sons by Apollo. The painting won acclaim for Wilson, who obtained many commissions from British landowners seeking classical portrayals of their estates.
|The Destruction of Niobe's Children|
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Location||Yale Center for British Art|
In 1761, publisher John Boydell hired William Woollett, the foremost engraver in England, to make a print of Wilson's Niobe. Boydell wanted a spectacular print to demonstrate the capability of English engravers, and he paid Woollett approximately £100 for the Niobe engraving, a staggering amount compared to the usual rates. This single act of patronage raised engravers' fees throughout London.
Wilson's painting of Niobe is currently in the collection of Ashridge House in Herfortshire.
- Bruntjen, 20
- Bruntjen, Sven Hermann Arnold. John Boydell (1719–1804): A Study of Art Patronage and Publishing in Georgian London. New York: Garland Publishing, 1985. ISBN 0-8240-6880-7.
- Clayton, Timothy. "John Boydell (1720–1804)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (subscription required). Oxford University Press. 2004. Retrieved on 19 November 2007. ISBN 0-19-861411-X.
- Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. (1908 edition 2:1012–1013.) .