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.

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.

Provenance

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


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