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Ulysses deriding Polyphemus- Homer's Odyssey

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You are viewing image NG508

Joseph Mallord William TURNER , 1775 - 1851

Ulysses deriding Polyphemus- Homer's Odyssey

Date: 1829
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 132.5 x 203 cm
Acquisition credit: Turner Bequest, 1856

Ulysses is standing aloft on his ship deriding the Cyclops, whom he and his companions have just left blinded, and invoking the vengeance of Neptune. One of the flags is painted with the scene of the Trojan Horse. The horses of the Sun are rising above the horizon ('Odyssey', Book 9).

Apparently the idea was in Turner's mind as early as about 1807, if this is the correct date of a sketchbook which contains a rough drawing of the subject. The picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1829.

Painting of the Month, May 2004


Travel, Mythological


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