According to Greek mythology, Iphigenia was the daughter of Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae (in Greece) and Clytemnestra. Agamemnon wanted to lay siege to the city of Troy, yet each time he tried to set sail there with his fleet, the wind died down. A soothsayer told him that the goddess Artemis was angry with him and that to regain her favour he would have to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia. The king finally agreed.
Iphigenia avoided this horrible death because Artemis substituted a deer for the princess and transported her to her temple in Tauris, where she worked as a priestess. All strangers, including her brother Orestes, who entered that country were to be sacrificed to Artemis in Tauris. The siblings recognized each other and managed to escape together. Iphigenia is often depicted at the moment that she is about to be sacrificed, of when she meets Orestes.