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The return of Odysseus (Penelope with the suitors)

Painting, 1509, 124×146 cm

Description of the artwork «The return of Odysseus (Penelope with the suitors)»

"Return Of Odysseus" one of the few surviving fragments of paintings of the Sienese Palazzo del Magnifico. Built by order of the ambitious and the vain policy of Pandolfo Petrucci, a Magnificent Palace (as it is translated from Italian its name), was conceived as the residence for the future family dynasty of the rulers of Siena, which wanted to put himself Petrucci.

Having sole control over the Republic of Siena in the late fifteenth century, held the position of "captain of the people" (commander of the armed forces), Pandolfo has enlisted the support of economic elites, and managed to rule until his death in 1512. And for four years before he convened in Siena the best painters in the region to work on painting the walls and ceilings of his Palace. As a result, over the frescoes in the Palazzo del Magnifico worked Pinturicchio, Luke Signorelland Girolamo Jenga.

The intent Petrucci, monumental scenes from ancient myths to symbolize milestones in the history of his family. So, "Return of Odysseus" by the brush of Pinturicchio, a reference to the long period of life in exile the first Pandolfo, and then his son Borghese. And, for example, the fresco "Flight of Aeneas from Troy" written by the disciple Luke Signorelli Girolamo Gengou, symbolically represents three generations of family Petrucci. According to the "Aeneid" by Virgil, the legendary hero left blazing fire the city, taking with him his wife Creusa (but, unfortunately, lagged and died) and son of Yula. And even carried on their own shoulders old father Anchise – noble act of Aeneas so impressed the Greeks that they released him out of town.

But despite far-reaching plans Petrucci in relation to family succession, his ambition was never realized. Son Borghese, who took over the reins of the Siena Republic after his father's death, I could not resist in this incarnation, and three years later intrigued against his nephew, Pandolfo, cardinal Raphael Petrucci. After his death in 1522 again, a glimmer of hope for the restoration of the dynasty, because Mr. Siena was already the youngest son of Pandolfo, Fabio. But just two years later due to rebellion, he was expelled from the city, and in Siena was restored Republican government.

"Magnificent Palace" was expecting a more enviable fate than its owners. Currently, Palazzo del Magnifico is one of the popular tourist attractions of Siena, and paintings were prepared for the honor to settle in the best art galleries in the world. In 40-ies of the 19th century, most of the frescoes was transferred from wood to canvas. Some of them stayed home in the National art gallery of Siena ("the Flight of Aeneas from Troy" – one of them), the piece is in the Metropolitan Museum in new York. The rest acquired the London national gallery, where it resides still.

Among them "the Return of Odysseus" by Pinturicchio. The scene depicted on the mural, familiar to us through Homer's epic poem, named for the main character. After many years of wandering Odysseus learns that for the past three years, his wife Penelope besieged by suitors, literally giving beauty aisle. The goddess Athena turns Odysseus into a decrepit ugly the old man, so he could sneak into his house in disguise, after all, thirsty for Royal crown men can kill him. To fend off their claims, Penelope went to the trick: he promised to marry as soon as she finishes weaving a burial cloth for Laertes, father of Odysseus. Every night she spread a cloth, which allowed indefinitely to waste time.

"Return" written in a peculiar Pinturicchio lightweight manner: from the tragedy and Majesty of the Homeric epics has not disappeared. Instead of a bald decrepit old man in a torn and dirty robe, how it made Athena, Odysseus appears to be young and even cute Golden-haired boys – we can learn it only by staff in his hands.

The whole composition is imbued with an atmosphere of ease and bliss: through the open window can be seen swaying on the waves the ship of Odysseus at the loom sat a little bird flown, and at the feet of Penelope plays with a ball of yarn a kitten.

Pinturicchio was all present dressed in clothes of their era and what we are talking about the events of the Greek myth, the island resembles EEA, visible through the window. There the sorceress CIRCE drew travelling into the swine, and sirens from its shores the sweet singing of the delay on the seabed unwary sailors.

Author: Natalia Azarenka
from 1450 rub
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Mythological scene, Literary scene

Style of art: Renaissance

Technique: Fresco

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1509

Size: 124×146 cm

Artwork in selections: 8 selections

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