La Reine Atossa voit en songe Xercès renversé de son char par l’Ionie qu’il y avait atelée avec la Perse
CAT 3. Etienne Achille Réveilafter John Flaxman. La Reine Atossa voit en songe Xercès renversé de son char par l’Ionie qu’il y avait atelée avec la Perse. Plate 29 in Tragédies d’Eschyle illustrating Act 2 in Les Perses. Paris: 1833. Melville Memorial Room, Berkshire Athenaeum.
Here Flaxman illustrates a famous section of the “bad dream” in which Queen Atossa envisions harm that will come to her son Xerxes, currently abroad in his campaign to conquer the Greeks. This is the moment in which Xerxes, being pulled in an Ionian chariot by beautiful maidens in Persian and Greek dress, is dumped unceremoniously to the ground when the Greek maiden breaks her harness. His father Darius (whose Ghost will appear on stage soon after Atossa recounts her dream) looks on in pity. The four principal figures are identified in the lower margin of Réveil's print (see the entire printed sheet on the Catalog level). If Xerxes looks more Greek than Persian, that is because Flaxman allowed the figure from his original drawing to be “transformed into a more Grecian type” in the process of being engraved (see Bindman, pl. 109, p. 96).