Penelope: Greek Mythology


24" x 24", oil on wood panel

24″ x 24″, oil on wood panel

My latest painting is that of Penelope from Greek Mythology. I wanted to capture her appearance and her spirit based on the story of her. Here’s a little description.

In Greek mythology, Penelope was the wife of the hero Odysseus, king of Ithaca. For twenty years she endured hardship while Odysseus was away during and after the Trojan War. During his absence, she was pursued by many suitors who tried to persuade her that her husband will never return. After many years have gone by with pressure surrounding her, she devised a plan to keep herself free from marrying another, announcing that she will agree to choose another husband only when she’s finished weaving her father-in-law’s shroud, which every night for three years she would undo to ensure that it would never be completed. When this was eventually revealed by one of her maids, Penelope promised to marry the man that can bend her husband’s bow knowing that only Odysseus can accomplish this feat. Odysseus returned after his long adventure, disguised as a beggar, and accomplished this task. He killed the suitors with his strung bow and revealed his identity. Penelope accomplished anchoring the kingship of Ithaca by not marrying another and making him king. She could not rely on force as so often used to settle differences, but instead used her knowledge and intelligence to take control of the situation. Her devised plans appealed to the suitors because of custom and tradition, that made the suitors compete instead of unite. She is the epitome of feminine virtue, loyalty, intelligence, respect, and patience.


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