Homer Reciting the Iliad to the People of Delos (preparatory study for the central panel of the marble tarsia work, Marmor Homericum) by Baron Henri de Triqueti (1803-74). c. 1863-65. 303 x 488mm. Pen and ink, india ink wash and black chalk on paper.

This is one of a number of sketches in the keeping of University College London which show how carefully Triqueti worked out his composition, and also, of course, his conscientious draughtsmanship. This one represents quite a late stage of his thinking for the project, but there would still be some important changes. In the final work, for instance, Homer is declaiming, with one arm raised. As a result he cuts a much more dramatic figure. The central female listener is leaning more picturesquely against the pedestal of a statue with two figures on it, and the soldier at the far right is almost in sitting posture, listening attentively rather than raising his sword.

Photograph and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee, the former by kind permission of UCL Art Collections, University College London, which also kindly provided the caption material. You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and UCL Art Collections, and (2) link your document to this URL or cite the Victorian Web in a print document.

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Last modified 24 April 2017