The Vengeance of Odysseus

Illustration © The Estate of John David Roberts. Reproduced with the permission of the William Roberts Society. Catalogue information based on the catalogue raisonné by David Cleall. For this and full details of the exhibitions cited, see the links below. Any auction prices quoted may not include all fees and taxes, such as VAT and Artist's Resale Right charges.

The Vengeance of Odysseus

The Vengeance of Odysseus, 1974 (dated)
Oil on canvas, 76.2 cm x 62.9 cm

A scene from Book 22 of the Odyssey, in which Odysseus, helped by his son and two faithful servants, slays the suitors who have been besieging his wife during his wanderings after the Trojan War (see The Return of Ulysses c.1913). Leodes clutches Odysseus' knees and begs for mercy, but his head is struck off (ll. 310 ff.). The minstrel Phemios, who has been forced to entertain the suitors, wonders whether to beg for mercy or to flee (ll. 330 ff.).
PROVENANCE: Estate of John David Roberts (held in Tate store, 2014)
EXHIBITION HISTORY: Royal Academy 1975, Reading 1983, Arts Council (1) 1987, Albemarle Gallery 1989

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