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Long afloat on shipless oceans, I did all my best to smile, 'til your singing eyes and fingers, drew me loving to your isle @mcrartgalleryco @4ad_official | by dullhunk
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Long afloat on shipless oceans, I did all my best to smile, 'til your singing eyes and fingers, drew me loving to your isle @mcrartgalleryco @4ad_official

The Sirens and Ulysses is a large oil painting on canvas by the English artist William Etty, first exhibited in 1837. It depicts the scene from Homer's Odyssey in which Ulysses (Odysseus) resists the bewitching song of the sirens by having his ship's crew tie him up, while they are ordered to block their own ears to prevent themselves from hearing the song.


While traditionally the sirens had been depicted as human–animal chimeras, Etty portrayed them as naked young women, on an island strewn with corpses in varying states of decay. The painting divided opinion at the time of its first exhibition, with some critics greatly admiring it while others derided it as tasteless and unpleasant. Possibly owing to its unusually large size, 442 cm by 297 cm, the work initially failed to sell, and was bought later that year at a bargain price by the Manchester merchant Daniel Grant. Grant died shortly afterwards, and his brother donated The Sirens and Ulysses to the Royal Manchester Institution.


The Sirens and Ulysses was painted using an experimental technique, which caused it to begin to deteriorate as soon as it was complete. It was shown in a major London exhibition of Etty's work in 1849 and at the 1857 Art Treasures Exhibition in Manchester, but was then considered in too poor a condition for continued public display and was placed in the gallery's archives. Restoration began on the work in 2003, and in 2010 the painting went on display in the Manchester Art Gallery, over 150 years after being consigned to storage.


In Greek mythology, the sirens were dangerous creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and singing voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island.


Song to the Siren is a song written by Tim Buckley and his writing partner Larry Beckett and was released by Buckley on his 1970 album Starsailor. It was also later released on Morning Glory: The Tim Buckley Anthology, the album featuring a performance of the song taken from the final episode of The Monkees TV show which aired on March 25, 1968.


Pat Boone was the first to release a version of the song when it was featured on his 1969 album Departure, predating Buckley's Starsailor release. However, the song has become perhaps Buckley's most famous due to a number of artists covering the song after his death in 1975, notably This Mortal Coil in 1983.


The cover by This Mortal Coil is prominently featured in David Lynch's 1997 film Lost Highway.


Public domain work via Wikimedia Commons

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Taken sometime in 1837