Tag Archives: 1891

“Ulysses and the Sirens,” by John William Waterhouse, 1891 (Click to enlarge!)

John William Waterhouse’s “Ulysses and the Sirens” is extraordinary.  I tried to download a high-resolution file here … if you’re so inclined, click to enlarge and then click again to zoom in on the troubled sailor being accosted by the “siren” that has managed to perch.  Look at the expression on the faces of him and his would-be temptress.

Anyway, I am slightly confused by the painting despite its beauty … Yes, we have Odysseus (Ulysses) tied to the mast and able to hear the monsters’ irresistible call, while his men oar on with wax in their ears so that they cannot succumb to its attraction.  But … am I nuts, or are those harpies, and not sirens?