Skip to main content Accessibility help

As in Ovid, So in Renaissance Art

  • Paul Barolsky (a1)


This essay is a prolegomenon to the general study of Ovid's relations to Renaissance art and art theory. As is well known, the Metamorphoses determined the subjects of numerous works of art during the Renaissance. What is not sufficiently appreciated, however, is the extent to which the ancient poet's sense of "metamorphosis" as a figure of poesis, making or "poetry," helped shape Renaissance notions of poetic transformation in the visual arts. The emergent taste for the non finito in the Renaissance, most notably in the work of Michelangelo, had important roots in Ovidean aesthetics.



Hide All
Alberti, Leon Battista. On Painting. Trans. C. Grayson. Harmondsworth, 1991.
Barkan, Leonard. The Gods Made Flesh: Metamorphoses and the Pursuit of Paganism. New Haven, 1986.
Barolsky, Paxil. Infinite Jest: Wit and Humor in Italian Renaissance Art. Columbia, MO, 1978.
Barolsky, Paxil. The Faun in the Garden: Michelangelo and the Poetic Origins of Italian Renaissance Art. University Park, PA, 1994.
Castiglione, Baldassare. Libro del Cortegiano. Milan, 1987.
Durling, Robert and Martinez, Ronald. Time and the Crystal: Studies in Dante's Rime Petrose. Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1990.
Eitner, Lorenz. Neo-Classicism and Romanticism: 1750 -1850. Vol. 1. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1970.
Fermor, Sharon. Piero di Cosimo, Invention and Fantasia. London, 1992.
Hartt, History of Italian Renaissance Art. 4th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1994.
Hibbard, Howard. Bernini. Harmondsworth, 1965.
Juren, Vladimir. “Fecit-faciebat.” Revue del'Art 26 (1974): 2730.
Lazzaro, Claudia. The Italian Renaissance Garden. New Haven and London, 1990.
Lorenzo de’ Medici. Selected Poems and Prose. Ed. J. Thiem. University Park, PA, 1991.
Novelle italiane: il Quattrocento. Ed. Gioachino Chiarini. Milan, 1982.
Ovid, Metamorphoses. 2 vols. Trans. F. J. Miller. Cambridge, MA and London, 1968, 1971.
Panofsky, Erwin. Studies in Iconology: Humanistic Themes in the Art of the Renaissance. New York, 1962.
Petrarch's Lyric Poems. Trans. Robert Durling. Cambridge, 1976.
Pico della Mirandola. On the Dignity of Man. Trans. C. G. Wallis. Indianapolis and New York, 1965.
Pon, Lisa. “Michelangelo's First Signature.“ Source 14 (1996): 1619.
Shearman, John. Only Connect … Art and the Spectator in the Italian Renaissance. Princeton, 1972.
Vasari, Giorgio, Le vite de'piu eccellenti pittori scultori ed architettori. 8 vols. Ed. G. Milanesi. Florence, 1906.


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed