The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis

Object Details


The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis


Jacques-Louis David (French, 1748 - 1825)






Oil on canvas


88.3 x 103.2 cm (34 3/4 x 40 5/8 in.)

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Fixing the viewer with a dreamy gaze, the fair-haired Telemachus grasps Eucharis's thigh with his right hand while holding his sword upright with the other. In the 1699 French novel Les Aventures de Télémaque, loosely based on characters from the Odyssey, the author Fénelon describes how Telemachus, the son of Odysseus, fell passionately in love with the beautiful nymph Eucharis. His duty as a son, however, required that he end their romance and depart in search of his missing father.

The ill-fated lovers say farewell in a grotto on Calypso's island. Facing towards us, Telemachus's blue tunic falls open to reveal his naked torso. Eucharis, seen in profile, encircles Telemachus's neck and gently rests her head upon his shoulder in resignation. In this way, Jacques-Louis David contrasts masculine rectitude with female emotion.

David painted The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis during his exile in Brussels. The use of saturated reds and blues contrasted with flesh-tones and combined with a clarity of line and form typifies the Neoclassical style, which is characteristic of David's late history paintings.

1818 - 1840

Count Franz Erwein von Schönborn, German, 1776 - 1840 (Schloss Reicharthausen, Rheingau, Germany), purchased from the artist, 1818; by inheritance to his son, Erwein von Schönborn-Wiesentheid, 1840.

1840 - 1865

Erwein von Schönborn-Wiesentheid, 1805 - 1865 [sold, Schönborn-Wiesentheid sale, Montmorillon'sche Kunsthandlung, Schönborn palace, Munich, October 9, 1865, lot 46, probably to C.-E. Weber de Truenfels.]

1865 - 1867

C.-E. Weber de Truenfels (Antwerp, Belgium) [sold, Weber de Truenfels sale, Petit, Drouot, Paris, April 9, 1867, lot 57.]

- 1897

Baron de Hirsch (London, England) [sold, Hirsch sale, Christie's, London, February 6, 1897, lot 30, to E. M. Hodgkins.]

1897 -

Edward Marriot Hodgkins, 1860 - 1932 (London, England)

- 1919

Baron Denys Cochin, 1851 - 1922 (Paris, France) [sold, Cochin sale, Lair-Dubreuil, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, March 26, 1919, lot 8, to Galerie Bernheim Jeune.]

1919 -

Galerie Bernheim Jeune (Paris, France)

by 1941 - 1950

Jacques Léon Stern (Paris, France; New York, New York) [sold, Stern sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, November 3-4, 1950, lot 57, possibly to N. de Koenigsberg, La Passe, Ltd.]

by 1951 -

La Passe, Ltd. (New York, New York)

- still in 1962

Private Collection (Uruguay), by inheritance from father to son, 1962; possibly sold to Pedro Soarin Bosch.

by 1986 - 1987

Pedro Soarin Bosch [sold, Sotheby's, New York, February 24, 1987, lot 126, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

Société des beaux-arts et de littérature de Gand (exposition au profit de l'atelier de charité) (late May to June 19, 1818)
  • Salle du Pavillon, Hôtel de Ville, (Ghent), May to June 19, 1818
Exposition au profit des hospices de Sainte-Gertrude et des Ursulines (June 21 to July 12, 1818)
  • Musée de Bruxelles, (Brussels), June 21 to July 12, 1818
Jacques-Louis David, 1748 - 1825 (October 26, 1989 to February 12, 1990) (Cat. 229)
  • Musée du Louvre, (Paris), October 26, 1989 to February 12, 1990
Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile (February 1 to September 5, 2005) (Cat. 35)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 1 to April 24, 2005
  • The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, (Williamstown), June 5 to September 5, 2005
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