The billowing pleats of Penelope's robe create elegantly curved lines. Her pose, with her weight on her right foot, leaving her left foot free, creates a sense of stability and quiet movement in the Classicist manner. Above the massive lower body, the upper body is posed in grief, her chin on her hand. Penelope was the beautiful wife of Odysseus, hero of Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey. While Odysseus was away fighting the Trojan War, his wife was beset by a horde of suitors. Penelope announced that she would remarry only when she had finished weaving the tapestry to cover her husband's coffin; she then spent three years weaving it in the daytime and unraveling it at night. Penelope, who believed that her husband would return safely at last, has come to symbolize the dutiful and loyal spouse.
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