Andromache & Astyanax, 1893

Collections in the Classroom

Grade Level

High, Middle

Time Period

1871-1899: Post Reconstruction


The Lost Cause Myth

Resource Type

Primary Source

Download Collections in the Classroom: Andromache & Astyanax (pdf)


  • Describe this sculpture.
  • Why might Edward Valentine consider this sculpture to be his masterpiece?
  • Why do you think this statue’s interpretation became associated more with the American Civil War than the Trojan War?


This life-sized Neoclassical sculpture was created by Edward Valentine and exhibited at the Chicago World’s Fair Columbian Exposition in 1893. For Valentine, it represented a masterpiece depicting the figures of Andromache and Astyanax, mother and her soon-to-be-killed son from a popular Greek myth. The female figure is shown as a mother who has lost her father, brothers, and husband and will soon lose her son to the Greeks during the Trojan War. Soon after its exhibition, scholars began to call the sculpture a “monument to the Confederate Woman.” The linking of this classical sculpture and the threat to Southern womanhood furthered the Lost Cause myth and the idea that white women were vulnerable and needed protection, even if it meant violence.