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35 Ulysses and the Isle of Sirens by Paintings by Norman Neasom (1915 - 2010)

35 Ulysses and the Isle of Sirens by Paintings by Norman Neasom (1915 - 2010)

Ulysses and the Isle of Sirens

Watercolour - Signed and dated

Image Area: 15ins x 22ins

Returning from the abode of the shades, Ulysses revisited the Agean isle and recounted to Circe his adventures and the wondrous visions and the laws of Hell. She in return speeded his homeward voyage, instructing him particularly how to pass safely by the coast of the Sirens

These nymphs had the power of charming by their song all who heard them, so that mariners were impelled to cast themselves into the sea to destruction. Circe directed Ulysses to stop the ears of his seamen with wax so that they should not hear the strain, have himself bound to the mast and to instruct his crew that whatever he might say or do, by no means to release him till they had passed the Sirens' island. Ulysses obeyed these directions

As they approached the Sirens' island, the sea was calm, and over the waters came notes of music so ravishing and attractive that Ulysses struggled to get loose and, by cries and signs to his crew, begged to be released; but they, obedient to his previous orders, sprang forward and bound him still faster

They held on their course, and the music grew fainter till it ceased to be heard, when Ulysses gave his companions the signal to unseal their ears; and they relieved him from his bonds

Norman's interpretation of the story is typical of his work and in certain ways quite suggestive for a young man of only 19. There are 3 paintings in the Allegoric section that Norman painted between 1935 and 1936 which would suggest he could have been studying the work of Homer whilst at College in Birmingham

This work is in a private collection

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