Gustave Moreau

Begun 1852 or 1853

Oil on canvas

11 feet 5 inches x 12 feet 5 1/2 inches

Musée Gustave-Moreau, Paris

According to Jean Clay, "Moreau pivoted the axis of his main event some 45 degrees so that the action — the confrontation of the hero and the suitors — occurs not parallel to the painting surface (as, for example, in the friezelike disposition favored by David), but perpendicular to it. Moreover, the staging of the scene required, just as the cinema frequently would, that the motor force of the action (Ulysses) appear not in the foreground — or even in the title — but at considerable remove, there almost absorbed by the architectural setting. (Nor does the position of the central character coincide with the center of the perspective, whose lines converge at the foot of the radiant figure of Minerva [Athena].)'" [p. 312]

Other views

  • Entire painting
  • A Dying Suitor with Odysseus in the background
  • The Group of dead suitors at left center of the canvas