Orestes and Pylades

Josiah Wedgwood, 1780 - 1836

Orestes and Pylades

Josiah Wedgwood 1780 - 1836


Public: Rectangular plaque, stoneware, solid pale blue jasper with applied reliefs in white depicting Orestes and Pylades at the Temple of Diana, with the priestess Iphigenia. Private: Thick rectangular plaque with slightly convex upper surface. High white relief of Orestes and Pylades at the Temple of Diana. Simple pillared temple in centre of panel, containing shrine with figure of Diana on pedestal and small altar, tree to left. On right of temple, priestess Iphigenia stands in front of the shrine, turning back to Orestes and Pylades who stand bound and guarded by barbarian in Phrygian cap. On left of temple, Iphigenia gives a letter to Orestes and Pylades, freed, barbarian holding shield aloft behind her.

Display Label

Orestes and Pylades around 1790 - 93 Modelled by John de Vaere 1755 - 95 Made by Wedgwood Jasperware with applied relief This scene probably relates to the story of Iphegenia in Tauris by the Greek poet, Euripedes. Orestes and Pylades were cousins and close friends who have travelled to Tauria to trace an ancient statue of Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. However, any foreigner entering the country has to be sacrificed to Artemis. They have been captured and taken to Artemis’ temple, depicted as a canopy shielding a statue . that holds a bow, symbolising the hunt. The priestess who will supervise the killing is Iphigenia, Orestes’ long-lost sister, whom he had previously believed to be dead. 1918.332a

Object Name

Orestes and Pylades

Creators Name

Josiah Wedgwood

Date Created

1790=1793 (design date)

accession number

1918.332 A

Place of creation



On Display

[BG] Manchester Art Gallery - Balcony Gallery
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Transferred from the Horsfall Museum Collection, 1918

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