109.2 x 66.5 cm (43 x 26 3/16 inches)
Mary B. Jackson Fund
This wallpaper design features a bust of the ancient Greek poet Homer and a representation of the Iliad and the Odyssey, his famous epic poems. The nearby scrolls, quills, and lyre symbolize ancient poetry, a written form that was originally sung to musical accompaniment.
This panel was one of six depicting trophy busts that alternated with panels depicting mythological scenes, including the Muses and the Judgment of Paris. Each scene in the series was created in monochromatic shades of gray, or grisaille, in an imitation of marble sculpture. The use of classical imagery gained prominence after the rediscovery of the Roman sites Herculaneum and Pompeii in 1713 and 1748.