Chapter

Green Spectacles

Bruce R. Smith

in The Key of Green

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226763781
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226763811 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226763811.003.0005
Green Spectacles

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This chapter examines the implications of pre-Cartesian psychology specifically for looking. Horace's famous line “ut pictura poesis” (as painting, so is poetry) in “Ars Poetica” provides the occasion for looking at the varying relationships between seeing and wording in several set pieces of ekphrasis—accounts of creation in Genesis and Ovid's Metamorphoses, Britomart's rescue of Amoret from the House of Busyrane in Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, the painted destruction of Troy in William Shakespeare's Lucrece, and Richard Crashaw's instructions to the painter in “The Flaming Heart”—as well as in a series of tapestries woven by the Sheldon workshops between 1590 and 1615 and in a rare surviving set of painted cloths at Owlpen Manor, Gloucestershire.

Keywords: psychology; Horace; seeing; wording; ekphrasis; painting; Richard Crashaw; Edmund Spenser; The Faerie Queene; Ovid

Chapter.  17338 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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