Art Spotlight: Gérôme's 'King Candaules'


'King Candaules.' Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty

As today's STBYM Podcast episode centers around Plato's telling of "The Ring of Gyges," I thought I might share the above 1859 painting by French painter Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). Titled "King Candaules," the painting depicts a less magical telling of Candaules' fall and the rise of his usurper Gyges. Without the aid of a magical ring, Gyges spies the beautiful Queen Lydia from the doorway -- lusting after her body and her husband's power with an ferocity that will soon spill over into murder. In Plato's telling, Gyges acquires Queen and kingdom alike by turning invisible with a tomb-pilfered ring.


About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.