Oil on canvas
Framed: 118.5 x 140 x 9 cm (46 5/8 x 55 1/8 x 3 9/16 in.); Unframed: 91.4 x 113.7 cm (36 x 44 3/4 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1992.2
Calypso, reclining on her bed, looks at us with the same charming smile she used on Odysseus.
The Greek goddess Calypso held the hero Odysseus captive for seven years, preventing his return home from the Trojan War. Despite Calypso’s charms and the luxurious surroundings, Odysseus longed for his home and family, so the Olympian gods finally allowed his freedom. Here, the god Hermes swoops down to free Odysseus from Calypso’s embrace. De Lairesse, popularly known as the “Dutch Poussin,” introduced to the Netherlands a classicizing style influenced by artists of the French Academy.
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