CASTIGLIONE, Giovanni Benedetto
(b. 1609, Genova, d. 1664, Mantova)
Oil on canvas, 218 x 242 cm
This canvas depicts an episode told in Homer's Odyssey (Book 10). It shows the sorceress Circe using her magical powers to transform Ulysses' companions into wild beasts (a monkey, a dog, various birds, a deer, and a guinea pig). The gleaming armor in the right foreground evokes the human origins of the beasts.