Circe challenged by Odysseus

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Odysseus threatens Circe with his sword, on a wall painting at Pompeii, discovered at the House of Modestus in 1811, but now lost.

The scene is a room lit by a window high up on the left. The door is open, suggesting the recent arrival of Odysseus. He is striding forward, drawing his sword . He is dressed in traditional costume of conical felt cap, short violet shirt and red cloak.

Facing him is Circe, distinguished by a blue halo (perhaps as being the daughter of Helios), sinking to her knees, and holding out both hands in supplication.

She is dressed in a green chiton with himation, in contrast to two servants standing near her, who only wear yellow chitons. One of these starts back in terror. The other is carrying a wine-jug.

The painting is architectural, and bounded on either side by Ionic columns.