The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis

Telemachus and Eucharis / David

Video: Learn more about this painting.

This painting poignantly conveys the sense of loss experienced by separating lovers.

It tells the story of Odysseus's son Telemachus, who fell in love with the nymph Eucharis while shipwrecked on the island of Calypso. Telemachus is torn between his desire for Eucharis and his duty to search for his missing father. Soon he will leave Eucharis and the island forever. Like many of David's late mythological pictures, Telemachus and Eucharis explores conflicts between love and loss, longing and resignation.

The rich, bright colors in this picture show the influence of the Flemish painting that David had studied in Brussels. The painting was a huge success for David commercially and artistically. The proceeds from its exhibition in Ghent and Brussels were donated to charitable organizations, which boosted the painter's image.