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Tombs of the Ancient PoetsBetween Literary Reception and Material Culture$
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Nora Goldschmidt and Barbara Graziosi

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198826477

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198826477.001.0001

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Ruins and Reputations

Ruins and Reputations

The Tomb of the Poet in Visual Art

(p.299) 15 Ruins and Reputations
Tombs of the Ancient Poets

Sam Smiles

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores how poetic inspiration, centred around the tombs of ancient poets, can be expressed through the material idiom of painting. It approaches the ‘tomb of Virgil’ through the eyes of artists working in the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when the vogue for travel and the growth of a market for topographical and antiquarian images produced the circumstances that gave new life to representations of the tombs of the Greek and Roman poets. It focuses specifically on the work of two artists who visited the spot: Joseph Wright of Derby, who produced a number of variants of a highly poetical approach to the tomb, and J. M. W. Turner, who thought about the tomb of the poet in relation to the social role of the artist.

Keywords:   Virgil’s Tomb, Joseph Wright of Derby, J. M. W. Turner, Silius Italicus, Ovid’s tomb, Pliny the Younger

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