Ulysses Winning the Archery Contest in the Presence of Penelope's Suitors by Francesco Primaticcio

This is taken from an episode in Homer's 'Odyssey' when Ulysses wins an archery contest to prove that he is the best suitor for Penelope's hand in marriage.


Red chalk heightened with pink on paper
24.5 x 32.4 cm
Art Fund grant:
£60,000 ( Total: £245,300; Export stopped)
Acquired in:

Without leaving his seat, Ulysses shoots his arrow through a row of rings watched by his son Telemachus (extreme right), his divine guardian Athene, who stands behind him holding a shield, and other potential suitors. This drawing was the modello for the fresco commissioned by Francis I for the palace at Fontainebleau. The gallery holding the fresco was destroyed in 1738-39.


Sir Joshua Reynolds; Thomas Philipe; William Roscoe; Lord Stanley; Blundells of Ince; by descent; Christie's 11/12/90, lot 62.

Venue details

Walker Art Gallery William Brown Street, LIVERPOOL Merseyside L3 8EL 0151 478 4199 www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker

Entry details

Free to all

Daily, 10am – 5pm

Closed 24, 25, 26 and 31 Dec and 1 Jan

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