The story of the beautiful nymph Calypso is told in Homer's "Odyssey", an ancient Greek epic. Calypso lived on the island of Ogygia, where the shipwrecked hero Ulysses (Odysseus) drifted ashore. Plying Ulysses with luxuries, love, and offers of immortality, Calypso kept him with her for seven years. Finally the gods intervened and let him sail for home. Here, Calypso mourns Ulysses' departure, on the same shore where the homesick hero himself used to stare despondently out to sea. The painting is still in its original frame. The Latin inscription is from a Roman poet's retelling of Homer's famous poem: "When Ulysses sailed,/ By the lone wave Calypso wailed./ Day after day unkempt sat she / And communed with the cruel sea."