Achilles discovered by Ulysses among the daughters of Lycomedes1630 - 1635. Oil on panel, 107.5 x 145.5 cm.
Disguised as a woman, Achilles took refuge at the court of King Lycomedes in order to avoid going to the Trojan War where a terrible prophecy predicted his death while still a young man. Ulysses wanted the help of this hero in the fight and thought up a trick to discover him. He came to court in the guise of a merchant, offering numerous objects to the ladies on the left who appreciate these jewels and feminine elements. But Achilles takes an interest in a military helmet, which appears on his head in this painting, thus revealing his masculine condition. This is one of the cartoons Rubens made for a series of tapestries based on the life of Achilles. It is characterized by an especially careful design and a knowledge of classical Antiquity, and is also a magnificent example of one of Rubens most customary concerns: designs for tapestries.