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The main character of this painting is Homer - a great old man whose thoughts and sayings have been passed from mouth to mouth for many centuries. The elder's face expresses wisdom and clarity of mind, and the shoulders and knees of the sage are covered with white cloth. Glory - a beautiful angel in white robes and sparkling wings crowns the old man with gold laurels. The Face of Glory expresses joy and sympathy for the sage.
Below the throne of the sage, two figures are depicted, acting as allegories of the Iliad and Odyssey. On the sides of the two women are forty-two more figures, among whom only one woman is Sappho. The people surrounding the throne are great artists, writers and politicians from ancient times to the 17th century. The artist was extremely selective about the great figures whom he brought to the canvas.
Ingres wanted to make the picture as dynamic as possible, so you can distinguish Apelles, an ancient Greek painter leading Rafael's hand towards the throne, Pindar to the right of Homer holds out a magnificent lyre to the sage.
A man with a chisel and a hammer - Phidias, depicted with the main attributes of his profession. In the lower part of the canvas, you can find Nicolas Poussin, copied by Ingres from the famous self-portrait of the artist.
The soft color palette of the image is paired with an abundance of bright colors present in the robes of the characters. The expressiveness of the figures, the careful drawing of faces, textures, elements of the background building, the careful approach to choosing great faces - all this demonstrates the author’s serious approach to writing the work. The master himself said that it was this canvas that should become the main and fundamental work of his whole life. One cannot fail to notice the amazing elaboration of the sky, its soft but bright coloring. Overflowing the background from dark blue to almost white in the direction of the characters gives the mystical atmosphere of the whole composition, it creates the feeling that the sky envelops every person present on the canvas.