Ut pictura poesis is a Latin phrase literally meaning “as is painting so is poetry”. The statement . Rensselaer, W. Lee (). Ut Pictura Poesis: The humanistic. Title. Ut pictura poesis: the humanistic theory of painting /‚Äč by Rensselaer W. Lee. Author. Lee, Rensselaer Wright, Published. New York ; London: W. W. Donor challenge: Your generous donation will be matched 2-to-1 right now. Your $5 becomes $15! Dear Internet Archive Supporter,. I ask only once a year.

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Though of minor significance within the Ars Poetica itself, u. In general, ancient suggestions of u.

Modern invocations usually aim at dignifying paintingand, most recently, at freeing it from the dominance of literature. Renaissance and Baroque scholars have used u. Equation and comparison of the so-called sister arts of poetry and painting do not begin with Horace. Much like Horace, then, Lwe here establishes literature as an art form comparable to paintingin this case in its objects, capabilities, and limitations in imitation. As Larrabee, Rensselaer W.

Ut pictura poesis – Wikipedia

Mitchell each point out, the past and present centrality and currency of u. The Horatian simile is formulated at the end of a discussion warning the poet to avoid blemishes, though some may be excusable if the work in general possesses great beauty.

In the 18 lines on this theme alone, Horace compares the poet to a musician, a marksman, and a copyist. Horace, then, neither defends nor notably explains the simile, only noting that different poems, like different paintings, come off best under varying conditions and kinds of scrutiny.

At the beginning of the Ars PoeticaHorace maintains ele conceit linking the demands of taste exerted on the two art formsbut goes no further in grounding the relationship ll. Lee ably shows, between the middles of the 16th and 18th centuries, u. The medium of poetry, then, occupied the privileged position in the relationship between the two art forms. During this period, the simile was frequently drawn out, regularly equating along Aristotelian lines design with plot, and expression with color.


The discourse on u. The reaction against u.

Here, the eminent German playwright and critic argues against the equation of method and objects of the sister arts. In this highly influential textLessing draws attention to the traditional distinction between literary and visual art: Citing Homer, Lessing argues that, though minor violations may be acceptable, poetry should describe in a narrative manner, indicating qualities only within a narrative frame whenever possible, while painting should confine itself to one moment, not attempting a depiction of any narrative swath.

Since the early 20th century the study of the Horatian simile has been revitalized to discuss the theoretical underpinnings both of Chinese-influenced visually oriented poetry and of increasingly verbal visual arts expressions.

As Wai-Lim Yip notes, unlike Western poetry, traditional Chinese poetry functions in a presentational mode: Many poets of Western modernism, notably Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams, adapted the Chinese style for use in their own work, frequently diminishing the role of tense and syntax in their poetry, as well as taking on a more presentational, visual emphasis. From the side of the visual arts, however, 20th century criticism of u.

On the other hand, Greenberg views representational Surrealist art is at best a slave to literature, presumably due to its modified realistic technique and overt dependence on psychoanalytic theory. Though Greenberg does not cite plesis. Observers such as W. Mitchell have also renewed u. Mitchell, noting among other relations the verbal experience of the icon and the visual experience of the printed word, proposes looser borders between word and imagetheir discourses, and the sister arts that represent them.


Judging from the increasing multimedia expressions of verbal and poedis art, formal extrapolation of the Horatian simile seems unlikely again to occupy a central position in aesthetic scholarship. Furthermore, a broader interpretation of the Horatian simile bears on the study of media per se [see mediationmediologypoeisled. If poetry is like paintingthe medium is not the message.

Ut pictura poesis; the humanistic theory of painting

Through positing the comparability of the extrinsic method, content, and effect of media, u. Horace, The Collected Works of Horace.

Lord Dunsany and Michael Oakley London: The Collected Essays and Criticism. Perceptions and Judgments University of Chicago Press, Picthra University Press, Lee, Ut Pictura Poesis: The Humanistic Theory of Painting. Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Nelson and Richard Shiff Chicago: Duke University Press, William Carlos Williams, Pictures from Brueghel and other poems. Reynolds Roberto Kutcher W.

One likes picturs shadow, another will want to be seen In broad daylight, and has not fear of the critic With all his shrewd insight. One gives pleasure But once only; another will always give pleasure, Though people ask for it back ten times over. Horace, Horace, then, neither defends nor notably explains the simile, only noting that different poems, like different paintings, come off best under varying conditions and kinds of scrutiny.

Les mots et les couleurs ne sont choses pareilles Ni les yeux ne sont les oreilles. Butcher Mineola, New York: