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Janeiro 21, 2007

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Ulysses deriding Polyphemus – Homer’s Odyssey (National Gallery, London), John Mallord William Turner (1775-1851)

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  1. Ulysses deriding Polyphemus – Homer’s Odyssey, 1829
    Turner seems to have had more pleasure in painting after his return from Italy in 1819. Daring before, his confidence now appears have known no bounds—he seemed to paint by inspiration, scorning all models; and, after many brilliant successes and some failures, daring and his success culminated in this, the most magnificent of all his works. Mr. Ruskin calls it the central picture in his career.
    Ulysses and his companions, according to Homer,’ in order to escape from the Cyclops, heated his great staff and put out his one eye. The fire of the Greek-is seen under the cliff on the left hand. In front is the gorgeous galley of Ulysses. with its masts crowded with Greeks glorying in the discomfiture of :the giant who, a grand misty shape of suffering, is seen on the top of the hill, raising his hand in anguish or rage. Nothing can exceed the magnificence of the morning sky, with the sun rising behind bars of crimson and leaden blue. Mr. Ruskin says of this picture that “the burnished glow upon the sea, and the breezy stir in the blue darkness about the base of the cliffs, and the noble space of receding sky, vaulted with its lines of cloudy gold, and the upper peaks of the snowy Sicilian promontory, are all as perfect and as great as human work can be.”



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