Late 17th Century follower of Theo van Thulden
Ulysses in the Kingdom of the Laestrygones

PROVENANCE: Johan Conrad Spengler (Frits Lugt 1434) (1767-1839); Dr Barry Delany (Frits Lugt 350) (circa 1875); Harold Day (his stamp, not in Lugt, verso).

Black chalk, pen and brown ink, pen and brown ink framing lines, extensively inscribed in pencil on the verso of the mount in a 20th century hand, detailing the subject matter and provenance

196 x 255 mm (7 3/4 x 10 in.)


The present drawing illustrated Ulysses brief sojourn in the kingdom of the gigantic Laetrygones (Odyssey, Book X, lines 100-24). In the right foreground Ulysses stands hidden by rocks, with his three companions seated below, in the right middleground are the three companions sent to discover where they are, meet the daughter of the King Antiphates, on the left, one of their number is killed, to be eaten by the King, while the other two escape, chased by a giant.

These are copied from one of the mural cycles, now destroyed, painted by Francesco Primaticcio in the 1540s and 1550s in the Galerie dUlysse at Fontainbleu. All 58 subjects were etched by Van Thulden, who was in Paris between 1631 and 1634, and the first of numerous editions was published in 1633. There is an offset of this composition in black chalk by Theodor van Thulden (1607-1669) or Abraham van Diepenbeeck (1596-1675) at Windsor Castle.1

1.C.White and C.Crawley, The Dutch and Flemish Drawings of the Fifteenth to the Early Nineteenth Centuries in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle, Cambridge, 1994, number 465, p.334-5.

This is catalogue Number 2, in the on-line e-catalogue of 'Drawings from the collection of Harold Day (1924-2010)', see the home page for the e-catalogue.