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By Leonard Barkan

Why do painters occasionally want they have been poets--and why do poets occasionally want they have been painters? What occurs whilst Rembrandt spells out Hebrew within the sky or Poussin spells out Latin on a tombstone? What occurs while Virgil, Ovid, or Shakespeare droop their plots to explain a fictitious portray? In Mute Poetry, conversing photographs, Leonard Barkan explores such questions as he examines the deliciously ambiguous background of the connection among phrases and photographs, targeting the interval from antiquity to the Renaissance yet providing insights that still have a lot to claim approximately smooth paintings and literature.

The concept that a poem is sort of a photograph has been a average given that not less than historical Greece, and writers and artists have often mentioned poetry through discussing portray, and vice versa, yet their efforts bring up extra questions than they resolution. From Plutarch ("painting is mute poetry, poetry a talking picture") to Horace ("as an image, so a poem"), obvious readability speedy ends up in confusion approximately, for instance, what characteristics of images are being advised upon poets or how pictorial houses could be switched over into poetical ones.

The historical past of evaluating and contrasting portray and poetry seems to be partially a narrative of makes an attempt to advertise one medium on the rate of the opposite. while, analogies among note and photo have enabled writers and painters to consider and perform their craft. finally, Barkan argues, this discussion is an expression of hope: the painter longs for the wealthy signification of language whereas the poet yearns for the direct sensuousness of painting.

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