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(Italian, ‘poem’, ‘poetry’; ‘dream, fancy’)

A term used in the Renaissance to describe paintings inspired by the myths, fables, and legends related by the classical authors. Some Renaissance theorists discussed the degree of fantasy permitted and the laxness of the moral content of many poesie. The most celebrated poesie were those painted between c.1550 and c.1562 by Titian for Philip II of Spain including subjects such as Diana and Callisto (Bridgewater Loan; National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh) and Perseus and Andromeda (Wallace Collection, London).

Subjects: Art.

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