The Sorrow of Telemachus

The Sorrow of Telemachus is a 1783 oil painting by Angelica Kauffman. It is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[1]

The Sorrow of Telemachus
The Sorrow of Telemachus MET DP169392.jpg
ArtistAngelica Kauffman Edit this on Wikidata
Mediumoil paint, canvas
Dimensions83.2 cm (32.8 in) × 114.3 cm (45.0 in)
LocationMetropolitan Museum of Art
Accession No.25.110.187 Edit this on Wikidata
IdentifiersThe Met object ID: 436809

Early history and creationEdit

This painting and Telemachus and the Nymphs of Calypso were painted for Monsignor Onorato Caetani (1742-1797) [it]. They show scenes from the French novel The Adventures of Telemachus published by François Fénelon in 1699, and based on the story of Telemachus, son of Odysseus.[1][2][3]

Description and interpretationEdit

Telemachus was shipwrecked off Calypso's island, and in this image she tells her nymphs to stop singing Odysseus's praises because of his son's grief.[3]

Other versionsEdit

Kauffman painted two other versions of this work: in 1788 (held by the Bündner Museum of Art [de] in Chur, Switzerland, and in 1789 (sold by Christie's in London in April 1998).[4]


  1. ^ a b "The Sorrow of Telemachus". Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  2. ^ "Telemachus and the Nymphs of Calypso". Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  3. ^ a b Baetjer, Katharine (2009). "Angelika Kauffmann". British Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1575-1875. pp. 138–142. ISBN 9781588393487. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Angelica Kauffman, R.A. (1741-1807): The Sorrow of Telemachus on the Island of Calypso". Sale 5939: British Pictures: 8 April 1998: London, King Street. Christie's. Retrieved 12 June 2017.