The Odyssey Landscapes Essay

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The Odyssey Landscapes, discovered on the Esquiline Hill in Rome in the nineteenth century, are Roman paintings set within a Second-style scheme (Ling 1991, 110). Ling argues that many scholars believe that the artist of the paintings may borrow heavily from prototypes of the original masterpiece (1991, 110). Positioned 5.5 meters from the bottom of the wall, the masterpiece depicts Homer’s epic, The Odyssey, when Odysseus arrives at the land of the Laestrgonians and when he enters the land of the Underworld (Ling 1991, 110). Although the Odyssey Landscapes are meant to illustrate Homer’s epic, the artist took certain liberties on interpreting the scenes, as certain parts of the masterpiece depart from Homer’s epic.
First, some parts of
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In addition, Homer’s epic describes the scene when Odysseus arrives to the land of the Laestrgonians:
On the seventh day we raised the Laestrgonian land,/ Telepylus heights where the craggy fort of Lamus rises./ Where shepherd calls to shepherd as one drives in his flocks/ and the other drives his out and he calls back in answer./ Where a man who never sleeps could take in double wages/ one for herding cattle, one for pasturing fleecy sheep,/ the nightfall and the sunrise march so close together/…I scaled its rock face to a lookout on its crest/ but glimpsed no trace of the work of man or beast from there;/ I spied was a plume of smoke, drifting off the land. So I sent some crew ahead to learn who lived there—/ (Homer, Ody. 10.89-110).
In comparison with Homer’s text, in the masterpiece, viewers can notice a figure seated idly on the middle of the mountain. The figure is likely a man or a satyr who is resting and enjoying the peaceful scene although his face is not clear because of the damaged in painting. Viewers can see that the artist deviates from Homer’s epic on the masterpiece, as the artist includes an additional figure that are not stated in Homer’s epic. In addition, other example of deviation includes the landscape of the painting. Although the scene represents accurately the shepherds and his

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