Jo Nugent

FLAXMAN, J. The Odyssey of Homer (London, 1805)

Nestor's Sacrifice

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Plate 6 depicts five male figures of religious influence offering a cow for sacrifice to the King and his own entourage, a ghostly warrior resides in the top right corner of the plate, a depiction and representation of the God whom the sacrifice is in honour of. This plate engraving is a classic example of Flaxman's work, though outline illustration is simplistic it shows exactly what the engraver wants it to without complex design.

Nausicaa throwing the ball

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Plate number 10 depicts Nausicaa throwing a ball, a more faint image of Minerva shadows Nausicaa. Minerva's body position on contrast to Nausicaa suggests they are throwing the ball together so to make the ball fly far and true to its aim. Four other females surround Nausicaa appearing to have distressed expressions. Another traditional Flaxman engraving from the Phillips’ publication of Homer's Odyssey, unlike plate 6 this image incorporates finer engraving detail so to properly portray the grave of Minerva and Nausicaa in their shot.

Ulysses on the hearth presenting himself to Alcinous & Arete

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Plate 12 depicts Ulysses presenting himself humbled before King Alcinous and Queen Arete, behind the royal pair are four more people whom are of the royal court. However between Ulysses and the royal pair is an intellectual looking male, most likely a philosopher and advisor to the King and Queen. Though this is the final Flaxman image chosen for this exhibition, this does not make it the least interesting of Flaxman's work, the sub text on this particular plate is a fine and powerful quote from Homer's Odyssey. Furthermore darker engraving technique has been utilised on this plate in the more prominent character figures as with other Flaxman plate engravings.

 

Jo Nugent