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The figure of Homer in Raphael's “Parnassus” is singular for the combination of blindness, divine inspiration, improvisational song, and an amanuensis to immortalize the performance. This article examines humanist biographies of Homer to identify the pre-text of Raphael's Homer and to determine if it reflects the political influence of Julius II. Though no one source can be asked to bear such responsibility, the article gestures to the doctrine of divine madness in Laurentian Florence, in which vatic authority derives from Apollo. Raphael may have therefore conceived of Homer as Apollo's priest to give visual endorsement to Julius's Apollinian ideology.
Amid the devastation of the Schmalkaldic War (1546–47), Philip Melanchthon and his colleagues at Wittenberg hastily compiled a Latin edition of Sophocles from fifteen years of teaching materials and sent it to Edward VI of England within weeks of his coronation. Wittenberg tragedy reconciled Aristotelian technology, Reformation politics, and Lutheran theology, offering consolation in the face of events that themselves seemed to be unfolding on a tragic stage. A crucial but neglected source of English and Continental literary thought, the Wittenberg Sophocles shaped the reception of Greek tragedy, tragic poetics, and Neo-Latin and vernacular composition throughout the sixteenth century.
Through a close reading and reconstruction of technical recipes for ephemeral artworks in a manuscript compiled in Toulouse ca. 1580 (BnF MS Fr. 640), we question whether ephemeral art should be treated as a distinct category of art. The illusion and artifice underpinning ephemeral spectacles shared the aims and, frequently, the materials and techniques of art more generally. Our analysis of the manuscript also calls attention to other aspects of art making that reframe consideration of the ephemeral, such as intermediary processes, durability, the theatrical and transformative potential of materials, and the imitation and preservation of lifelikeness.
The history of religious migration and experience of exile in the early modern period has received a great deal of attention in recent years. Neglected within this scholarship, however, is sustained discussion of linguistic encounter within these often fraught transcultural and transnational interactions. This article breaks new ground by exploring the linguistic experiences of religious exiles in English convents founded in the Low Countries. Most women within English communities in exile were linguistically challenged; focusing on the creative ways these women subsequently negotiated language barriers sheds new light on female language acquisition and encounter during this period.
This essay explores glass engravings by Dutch authors Anna Roemers Visscher, Maria Tesselschade Roemers Visscher, and Anna Maria van Schurman. I place these engravings in their rich contemporary contexts, comparing them to other art forms that were the product of female pastime. Like embroidery, emblems, and alba amicorum, engraved glasses combined text and image, transforming each glass into an object that fulfilled key social and cultural functions. Above all, engraving glasses allowed women to forge new self-representations, specifically through their use of play to question binary oppositions and moral certainties.