John Flaxman

(b York, 6 July 1755; d London, 9 Dec 1826).

English sculptor, designer and teacher. He was the most famous English Neo-classical sculptor of the late 18th century and the early 19th. He produced comparatively few statues and portrait busts but devoted himself to monumental sculpture and became noted for the piety and humanity of his church monuments. He also had an international reputation based on his outline illustrations to the works of Homer, Aeschylus and Dante, which led him to be described by Goethe as ‘the idol of all dilettanti’. More recently attention has focused on his models for pottery and silver, and he has emerged as an important pioneer in the development of industrial design.


John Flaxman

The Odyssey of Homer


Tate Gallery, London



Title Page

The Descent of Minerva to Ithaca

Phemius Singing to the Suitors

Penelope Surprised by the Suitors

Telemachus in Seach of his Father

Council of Jupiter, Minerva, and Mercury

Nestor's Sacrifice

Penelope's Dream

Mercury's Message to Calypso
Leucothea Preserving Ulysses

Nausicaa Throwing the Ball

Ulysses Following the Car of Nausicaa

Ulysses on the Hearth Presenting Himself to Alcinous and Arete

Ulysses Weeps at the Song of Demodocus

Ulysses Giving Wine to Polyphemus

The King of the Lestrigens Seizing One of the Companions of Ulysses

Ulysses at the Table of Circe

Ulysses Terrified by the Ghosts


The Sirens


Lampetia Complaining to Apollo

Ulysses Asleep Laid on his Own Coast by the Phaeacian Sailors

Ulysses Conversing with Eumaeus

Apollo and Diana Discharging their Arrows

Minerva Restoring Ulysses to his Own Shape

Ulysses and his Dog

Ulysses Preparing to Fight with Irus

Euryclea Discovers Ulysses

The Harpies Going to Seize the Daughters of Pandarus

Penelope Carrying the Bow of Ulysses to the Suitors

Ulysses Killing the Suitors

The Meeting of Ulysses and Penelope

Mercury Conducting the Souls of the Suitors to the Infernal Regions

Ulysses Departing from Lacedaemon for Ithaca, with his Bride Penelope

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