I found a mention of this fresco - found in Pylos in the south-western Pelponnenese - in “The Mighty Dead - Why Homer Matters” by Adam Nicolson. He says:- “… a poet – call him Homer – sits on a luminous, polychromed rock, a nightclub idea of a rock, dressed in a long striped robe with the sleeves of his overshirt coming almost halfway down his bare brown arms. His hair is braided, tendrils of it running down his neck and on to his back. He looks washed. Everything about him is alert, his eye bright and open, his body poised and taut, upright, ready. In his arms he holds a large five-stringed lyre, the fingers of his right hand plucking at those strings, which bend to his touch.
Against the florid red of the wall behind him – the colour of living, not dried blood, the red of life – is the most astonishing part of this image: an enormous, pale bird, the colour of the bard’s robe, the feathers of its wings half-delineated in the red that surrounds it, its eye as bright and open as Homer’s, its body larger than his, its presence in the room huge and buoyant, nothing insubstantial about it, making its way out into the world, leaving Homer’s own static, singing figure behind.
The bird is poetry itself taking wing, so big, so much stronger than little Homer with his hairdo and his fingers on the lyre. It is the bird of eloquence, the ‘winged words’, epea pteroenta, which the Homeric heroes speak to each other, epea having the same root as ‘epic’, pteroenta meaning ‘feathered’: light, mobile, airy, communicative. Meaning and beauty take flight from Homer’s song.
It is one of the most extraordinary visualisations of poetry ever created, its life entirely self-sufficient as it makes its way out across that ragged horizon. There is nothing whimsical or misty about it: it has an undeniable other reality in flight in the room. There is a deep paradox here, one that is central to the whole experience of Homer’s epics. Nothing is more insubstantial than poetry. It has no body, and yet it persists with its subtleties whole and its sense of the reality of the human heart uneroded while the palace of which this fresco was a part lies under the thick layer of ash from its burning in 1200 BC. Nothing with less substance than epic, nothing more lasting. Homer, in a miracle of transmission from one end of human civilisation to the other, continues to be as alive as anything that has ever lived…”