One of the dramatic threads in the account of Odysseus's return to Ithaka is the gradual revelation of his identity. Here, Odysseus appears seated before a columned facade that represents his palace. Before him stand his son, Telemachos, and his wife, Penelope. As the old nurse, Eurykleia, washes Odysseus's feet, she recognizes him from an old scar. Artistic depictions such as this are interesting not only for the illustrative detail that they provide but also for the subjects chosen.
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The Museum's collection of Greek and Roman art comprises more than 30,000 works ranging in date from the Neolithic period to the time of the Roman emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity in A.D. 312.