'The Descent of Odin'

A black horse rearing back beside a male figure with his right arm outstretched

The composition of this cartoon is very closely related to drawings of the same subject by Henry Fuseli, the Swiss-born artist whose circle Romney frequented in Rome. Since Fuseli's drawings apparently date from 1776, whereas Romney left Rome in January 1775, the most likely scenario is that the cartoon dates from shortly after the two men next met - probably in the summer of 1779.

Odin, King of the Norse Godss, has seen the death of his son in a dream. He is consulting a prophetess of the underworld to discover if the dream comes true. The subject occurs in the Norse Odes of Thomas Gray, whose poetry Romney had already mined for his designs on the birth of Shakespeare.