Terracotta plaque

Period: Classical

Date: ca. 450 B.C.

Culture: Greek, Melian

Medium: Terracotta

Dimensions: Overall: 7 3/4 x 7 5/16 in. (19.7 x 18.6 cm)

Classification: Terracottas

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1925

Accession Number: 25.78.26


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.