The Remorse of Orestes (1862) by William Frederic Bouguereau (1825–1905).The three furies "furiously" pursue Orestes who has just stabbed his mother.
Nemesis, by Alfred Rethel, 1837.
In the painting above, Nemesis, holding an almost empty hourglass, pursues a murderer across a plain at night, the slaughtered body lying in the background. This painting was supposedly won in a Frankfurt lottery by someone of high rank guilty of an as yet undiscovered crime, and the contemplation of the prize drove the winner mad—a condition ironically shared by the painter.
Nemesis was the distributor of fortune (neither good nor bad), the goddess of inexorable divine retribution, and the punisher of hubris. Related to the Greek neimein, Nemesis means "to give what is due," or, she who distributes or deals out. As "fair distribution" she acted as a check on the extravagant favors otherwise bestowed by Tykhe (fortune, chance, providence, fate). Nemesis and Tykhe were often displayed on Greek vases as companions. Personifying the resentment men hold towards those with inordinate good fortune or who escape punishment for their crimes, she led the Erinyes (Furies) shown at the top of this page.
Nemesis is said to have taken the form of a goose to avoid Zeus’ advances; but Zeus became a swan and raped her. From this Nemesis bore two eggs each of which held twins. Mythologies diverge: either Nemesis was the mother and Leda (wife of Tyndareus King of Sparta) tended the eggs and later nursed the progeny; or Leda, raped by Zeus, slept with Tyndareus the same night and gave birth to the eggs and pairs of twins: the half-immortal Helen and Pollux by Zeus, the mortal Castor and Clytemnestra by Tyndareus. Castor and Pollux are known as the Dioskouroi (sons of Zeus) in Greek and the Gemini ("twins") in Latin. Castor means "beaver" in Greek and Latin; Pollux (Polydeukes) means "much sweet wine."