DAVID, Jacques-Louis
(b. 1748, Paris, d. 1825, Bruxelles)

The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis

Oil on canvas, 87 x 103 cm
Private collection

In 1818 David painted The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis, a story of true lovers forced to part. Telemachus, son of Penelope and Odysseus, and Eucharis, one of the nymphs of the goddess Calypso, had an intense physical passion for one another but still remained pure and chaste because this physical love expressed a higher, spiritual love. Telemachus stares out at us with an expression of regret and sadness at his departure, while Eucharis throws her arms around her lover's neck, making the most of their last moments together.