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Jul 22, 2013

Hermes Ordering Calypso to Release Odysseus

Hermes Ordering Calypso to Release Odysseus

c. 1670

Gerard de Lairesse

(Flemish, 1641–1711)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 118.5 x 140 x 9 cm (46 5/8 x 55 1/8 x 3 9/16 in.); Unframed: 91.4 x 113.7 cm (36 x 44 3/4 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1992.2


Did you know?

Calypso, reclining on her bed, looks at us with the same charming smile she used on Odysseus.


The Greek goddess Calypso held the hero Odysseus captive for seven years, preventing his return home from the Trojan War. Despite Calypso’s charms and the luxurious surroundings, Odysseus longed for his home and family, so the Olympian gods finally allowed his freedom. Here, the god Hermes swoops down to free Odysseus from Calypso’s embrace. De Lairesse, popularly known as the “Dutch Poussin,” introduced to the Netherlands a classicizing style influenced by artists of the French Academy.

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