(b. 1434, Nürnberg, d. 1519, Nürnberg)

Circe and Ulysses

Woodcut, 121 x 156 mm
Various collections

The picture shows an illustration for the Nuremberg Chronicle. It depicts an episode from the Odyssey (Bk 10). On their journey home after the Trojan War, Ulysses and his companions came upon the island of the sorceress, Circe. With a magic potion, she transformed the men into swine; however Ulysses, having been forewarned by Mercury and having taken an antidote, was able to resist her magic.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 13 minutes):
Claudio Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse, Act I, Duet of Odysseus and Pallas Athene