Nisus And Euryalus (1827) by Jean-Baptiste Roman
Roman (1792-1835) was born, and died, in Paris (1792-1835). Several of his marble sculptures are displayed in the Musée du Louvre. His work is usually built around Greek and Roman mythology or historic figures.
He won two Prix de Rome, and had sculptures commissioned by the King Louis-Philippe I. Roman received the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest civilian award, in 1827.
Nisus and Euryalus are lovers who are featured in The Aeneid, an epic poem by gay writer Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro, 70BC -19BC). They demonstrated their cunning and strength as warriors. Both are Trojans, refugees from their burned and fallen city. But, their story ends in tragedy: a gleaming golden helmet Euryalus acquires in battle attracts attention, and they are chased into the woods by the enemy and the two die together in an embrace. Virgil presents their deaths as a loss of loyalty, valor, and erotic love. His poem mourns their lost youth and honors their love, delivering a moving epitaph:
“If my song has any power, no day shall ever remove you from memory.”