I don't have any paintings today. I have loved The Odyssey since I read it for the first time in high school. I have reread it many times since then. Although there are so many unlikable characters, one that I immediately connected with was Penelope. She is the wife of Odysseus, and left behind while he headed off to the Trojan War.
After the war she is left to defend her kingdom against the suitors who covet her husband's crown. I think any woman facing a deployment would find a connection to her. She was left alone for a decade, unsure if Odysseus was even alive.
Human beings live for only a short time,
and when a man is harsh himself, and his mind knows harsh thoughts,
all men pray that sufferings will befall him hereafter
while he lives; and when he is dead all men make fun of him.
But when a man is blameless himself, and his thoughts are blameless,
the friends he has entertained carry his fame widely
to all mankind, and many are they who call him excellent.
surely you won yourself a wife endowed with great virtue.
How good was proved the heart that is in blameless Penelope,
Ikarios’ daughter, and how well she remembered Odysseus,
her wedded husband. Thereby the fame of her virtue shall never
die away, but the immortals will make for the people
of earth a thing of grace in the song for prudent Penelope.
(Agamemnon praising Penelope 350
"My dears, heaven has been pleased to try me with more
affliction than any other woman of my age and country. First I
lost my brave and lion-hearted husband, who had every good
quality under heaven, and whose name was great over all Hellas and middle Argos,
and now my darling son is at the mercy of the winds and waves,
without my having heard one word about his leaving home.