ca. 1820

This is a design of the Shield of Achilles based on the description in the Iliad. It was completed by Angelo Monticelli ca. 1820. This shield represents the art of Ekphrastic poetry Homer used in his writings.

Ekphrasis may be encountered as early as the days of Homer whose Iliad (Book 18) describes the Shield of Achilles, with how Hephaestus made it as well as its completed shape.

Ekphrasis or ecphrasis, from the Greek for the description of a work of art produced as a rhetorical exercise, often used in the adjectival form ekphrastic, is a graphic, often dramatic, verbal description of a visual work of art, either real or imagined. In ancient times, it referred to a description of any thing, person, or experience. The word comes from the Greek ek and φράσις phrásis, ‘out’ and 'speak’ respectively, and the verb ἐκφράζειν ekphrázein, “to proclaim or call an inanimate object by name”.

A Fisherman Hangs Up His Net

Anthologia Palatina 6.26 = Julianus, Prefect of Egypt (prob. 6th cent. CE)

Cinyras dedicates this net to the Nymphs;
    For his old age cannot lift it up
    And fling it far, the dart-thrower’s toil.
But, o you fish, rejoice as you feed,
    Because the old age of Cinyras
    Has given the sea the chance to have freedom.

 Ταῖς Νύμφαις Κινύρης τόδε δίκτυον· οὐ γὰρ ἀείρει
    γῆρας ἀκοντιστὴν μόχθον ἑκηβολίης.
ἰχθύες, ἀλλὰ νέμοισθε γεγηθότες, ὅττι θαλάσσῃ
    δῶκεν ἔχειν Κινύρου γῆρας ἐλευθερίην.

Fishermen Drawing a Net, David Cox, ca. 1820