Re-inventing Ovid’s Metamorphoses

Pictorial and Literary Transformations in Various Media, 1400–1800


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This volume explores early modern recreations of myths from Ovid’s immensely popular Metamorphoses, focusing on the creative ingenium of artists and writers and on the peculiarities of the various media that were applied. The contributors try to tease out what (pictorial) devices, perspectives, and interpretative markers were used that do not occur in the original text of the Metamorphoses, what aspects were brought to the fore or emphasized, and how these are to be explained. Expounding the whatabouts of these differences, the contributors discuss the underlying literary and artistic problems, challenges, principles and techniques, the requirements of the various literary and artistic media, and the role of the cultural, ideological, religious, and gendered contexts in which these recreations were produced.

Contributors are: Noam Andrews, Claudia Cieri Via, Daniel Dornhofer, Leonie Drees-Drylie, Karl A.E. Enenkel, Daniel Fulco, Barbara Hryszko, Gerlinde Huber-Rebenich, Jan L. de Jong, Andrea Lozano-Vásquez, Sabine Lütkemeyer, Morgan J. Macey, Kerstin Maria Pahl, Susanne Scholz, Robert Seidel, and Patricia Zalamea.

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Karl A.E. Enenkel is Professor of Medieval Latin and Neo-Latin at the University of Münster. Previously he was Professor of Neo-Latin at the University of Leiden. He has published widely on international humanism, early modern culture, paratexts, literary genres 1300–1600, Neo-Latin emblems, word and image relationships, and the history of scholarship and science.
Jan L. de Jong, Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer of Art History of the Early Modern Period at the University of Groningen. He has published extensively on Italian Renaissance art, including The Power and the Glorification. Papal Pretensions and the Art of Propaganda in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (Penn State University Press, 2013).
List of Illustrations
Notes on the Editors
Notes on the Contributors

1 Introduction: Re-Inventing Ovid’s Metamorphoses
Karl Enenkel and Jan L. de Jong

PART 1: Printed Cycles of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book Illustrations, and Commentaries

2 Non-Ovidian “Immigrants” in Printed Illustration Cycles of the Metamorphoses
Gerlinde Huber-Rebenich & Sabine Lütkemeyer

3 “Fabula ad mores relata.” Commenting on Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Early Modern Times: the Example of the Phaethon Episode
Robert Seidel

4 Isaac De Benserade’s Inventiveness in Metamorphoses d’Ovide en rondeaux (1676) on the Basis of Love Threads Woven by Arachne
Barbara Hryszko

PART 2: Reinventions of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Painting and Prints

5 Olympic Adultery. Italian Escapades of Mars, Venus and Vulcan
Jan L. de Jong

6 From Original Sin to Pornography: Pictorial Translations of the Salmacis Myth, ca. 1500–1800
Karl Enenkel

7 Playing with the Gods: Nicolas Poussin’s Reinvention of Ovidian Myths
Leonie Drees-Drylie

8 Myths of Defiance and Authority: the Gigantomachy and Fall of Phaeton in Ovidian Imagery of the Early Modern German States
Daniel Fulco

PART 3: Ovid’s Metamorphoses in the Applied Arts

9 From Laurel to Coral: the Jamnitzer Daphnes
Noam Andrews

10 Adaptations of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Late Medieval France: Material and Moral Recontextualization in the Tapestry of Narcissus at the Fountain
Morgan J. Macey

PART 4: Reinventions of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Literature

11 The Hounds of Desire: Elizabethan Variations on Ovid’s Actaeon Episode
Daniel Dornhofer and Susanne Scholz

12 Reinventing Ovidian Themes in Viceregal Peru: the Remaking of Fertility Myths in a Quechuan Play
Andrea Lozano-Vásquez and Patricia Zalamea

PART 5: Reinventions of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Theory of Literature and Art Theory

13 Morphings at Meta-Levels: Ovid, John Dryden, and the Art of Likeness in Translation
Kerstin Maria Pahl

14 Petrification and Animation: the Myth of Perseus as a Metaphor for the ‘Paragone’ in Early Modern Art
Claudia Cieri Via

Index Nominum
Scholars, (post-graduate) students and all others specialized or interested in the reception of classical literature, especially Ovid’s Metamorphoses, in the early modern age and in the transfer of texts to other media and genres. Keywords: Ovid, Ovidius, reception of classical literature, intertextuality, transmediality, illustrated Metamorphoses editions, mythological painting.
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