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Metamorphosis: Poems inspired by Titian: Reversals and Reflections
journal contributionposted on 2023-09-01, 14:25 authored by Sarah A. Brown
The focus of this article is an exhibition held at the National Gallery in London, Metamorphosis: Titian, 2012, and a companion volume of poems by fourteen leading contemporary poets, Metamorphosis: Poems Inspired by Titian (2012). The exhibition was based on just two myths from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, both memorably depicted by Titian, the tales of Actaeon and Callisto. This article analyses the many parallels between the intratextual dynamics of the Metamorphoses and the internal energies of the multi-arts exhibition, in particular the permeation of the boundary between the textual/visual world and our own reality. Many of the modern exhibitors share Ovid’s sympathetic identification with Actaeon, made explicit in his exile poetry, and use the myth as a way of exploring male sexual vulnerability. Some draw intriguing parallels between Titian and Diana, who both, in their different ways, shape reality. The complex links and disjunctures between the exhibits further mirror the ambiguous and shifting relationships between the dramatis personae of the two myths at the heart of this exhibition.
Publication titleClassical Receptions Journal
PublisherOxford University Press
- Accepted version