the fury of athamas


For 200 years, the eccentric, and sometimes infamous, Hervey family built a collection of art at Ickworth, including this colossal marble sculpture, The Fury of Athamas.

The subject of the sculpture by John Flaxman isn’t the most welcoming choice for an entrance hall; a furious Athamas snatches his son from the arms of his mother and throws him against the rocks; but it proudly sits in the entrance to Ickworth, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. It was commissioned by the Earl-Bishop in 1790, but was confiscated by the French before it got to Ickworth.  Fortunately his son bought it back in the 1820s.

The grandeur of the sculpture is perfectly at home in the Georgian palace of Ickworth, where visitors can walk in the earliest Italianate garden in England and explore the intricately designed rotunda.

Explore the the palatial Ickworth.

Plan a trip to Ickworth, the nearby Bury St. Edmunds, and the rest of Suffolk at Visit Suffolk.

Photo: National Trust/Sue James