Hermes Ordering Calypso to Release Odysseus

Gerard de Lairessec. 1670

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

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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  • Title: Hermes Ordering Calypso to Release Odysseus
  • Creator: Gerard de Lairesse (Flemish, 1641-1711)
  • Date Created: c. 1670
  • Physical Dimensions: 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.)
  • Provenance: Thomas Wodehouse Legh, 2nd Baron Newton [1857-1942], Cheshire, upon his death, probably held in trust by the estate, (Sale, Sotheby’s London, July 17, 1946, lot 63, sold to Julius Singer)1, (Julius Singer, London, probably sold to a Rio de Janeiro private collector), Private collection, Rio de Janeiro, (Christie’s, New York, sale, Oct. 9, 1991, lot 195, sold to Johnny van Haeften, Ltd.), (Johnny van Haeften, Ltd., London, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1992.2
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Fun Fact: Calypso, reclining on her bed, looks at us with the same charming smile she used on Odysseus.
  • Department: European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: Netherlands, 17th century
  • Credit Line: Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund
  • Collection: P - Netherlandish-Dutch
  • Accession Number: 1992.2

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