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Green Spectacles

Green Spectacles

(p.125) Chapter Four Green Spectacles
The Key of Green
Bruce R. Smith
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the implications of pre-Cartesian psychology specifically for looking. Horace's famous line “ut pictura poesis” (as painting, so is poetry) in “Ars Poetica” provides the occasion for looking at the varying relationships between seeing and wording in several set pieces of ekphrasis—accounts of creation in Genesis and Ovid's Metamorphoses, Britomart's rescue of Amoret from the House of Busyrane in Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, the painted destruction of Troy in William Shakespeare's Lucrece, and Richard Crashaw's instructions to the painter in “The Flaming Heart”—as well as in a series of tapestries woven by the Sheldon workshops between 1590 and 1615 and in a rare surviving set of painted cloths at Owlpen Manor, Gloucestershire.

Keywords:   psychology, Horace, seeing, wording, ekphrasis, painting, Richard Crashaw, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Ovid

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