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By Leonard Barkan

Why do painters occasionally want they have been poets--and why do poets occasionally want they have been painters? What occurs while Rembrandt spells out Hebrew within the sky or Poussin spells out Latin on a tombstone? What occurs whilst Virgil, Ovid, or Shakespeare droop their plots to explain a fictitious portray? In Mute Poetry, conversing photographs, Leonard Barkan explores such questions as he examines the deliciously ambiguous heritage of the connection among phrases and photographs, targeting the interval from antiquity to the Renaissance yet delivering insights that still have a lot to assert approximately smooth paintings and literature.

The concept that a poem is sort of a photo has been a common considering at the very least old Greece, and writers and artists have often mentioned poetry by way of discussing portray, and vice versa, yet their efforts increase extra questions than they resolution. From Plutarch ("painting is mute poetry, poetry a talking picture") to Horace ("as an image, so a poem"), obvious readability quick results in confusion approximately, for instance, what traits of images are being recommended upon poets or how pictorial homes may be switched over into poetical ones.

The background of evaluating and contrasting portray and poetry seems to be partially a narrative of makes an attempt to advertise one medium on the cost of the opposite. whilst, analogies among observe and snapshot have enabled writers and painters to consider and perform their craft. finally, Barkan argues, this discussion is an expression of hope: the painter longs for the wealthy signification of language whereas the poet yearns for the direct sensuousness of painting.

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