Art Spotlight: Gérôme's 'King Candaules'

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.