Iphigenia is shrouded in an unquestionably erotic aura which is typical for Stuck's mythologizing work. Typically, the original meaning of the story, about the power of the gods and moralising over right and wrong, has been replaced by a much more contemporaneous theme prevalent in Stuck's day: the relationship between the sexes, and woman as the temptress, symbolised here by the figure of Iphigenia on the right and the male masks on the left.
Influenced by Symbolist preoccupations with the femme fatale, Stuck often depicted woman as dangerous, independent and predatory. This is probably most obvious in his depictions of the sphinx, however the subtext is very much present in this painting. While ostensibly surrendering herself to Artemis, Iphigenia's pose and expression could just as well describe a moment of sexual ecstasy, her power over the opposite sex laid bare by the emasculated hollow mask on the ground watching her.
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