Penelope and the Suitors

Penelope and the Suitors , 1912

John William Waterhouse

Artist:John William Waterhouse
Rome, Italy, 1849 - 1917


oil on canvas

In his later work J.W. Waterhouse wholly embraced the poetic imagination of the Pre-Raphaelites. To this he brought a broad handling and loose brushwork which has been credited to the influence of French painters such as Bastien-Lepage.

Penelope's legendary marital fidelity was recorded in Homer's epic poem, 'The Odyssey'. For many years, her husband Odysseus had been absent at the siege of Troy. Pressed to make a second marriage, she stalls for time, telling the crowds of suitors that they must wait until she has finished weaving a shroud for her father-in-law. During the day she works at her weaving and at night, still convinced that Odysseus will return, she undoes all her day's work.

Purchased in 1912.
Out of copyright
Overall: Height: 129.8 cm, Width: 188 cm Frame: Height: 158.5 cm, Width: 218 cm
Acc. No. ABDAG003035


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