Figuring Change: The early modern artistic reception of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

Day: Thursday 5 April


Lydia Hamlett (History of Art (University of Cambridge)
Philip Hardie (Classics, University of Cambridge)

Session Abstract

This session – co-convened by a classicist and an art historian – explores the art-historical legacy of Ovid’s Metamorphoses and its underlying myths of classical transformation. The visual reception of episodes from the Metamorphoses has long been studied by art historians. Recent work on the text by classicists has focused on the aesthetics and politics of the gaze, the ecphrastic challenge to the artist and the transformative power of art. This session puts art historians and classicists in dialogue with one another. The papers cover a wide range of visual and performing arts: mural painting, sculpture, textiles, landscape garden, ballet, and masque. The contributors ‘look out’ to the intersection of art history with changes in social history, politics and the history of science, and they relate shifts in art historical reception to the Ovidian metapoetics of transformation.

Speakers & Papers

Liz Oakley-Brown (Lancaster University) Crafting Ovid in Elizabethan England: Textiles, texts and Hardwick Hall

Antonio Ziosi (Università di Bologna) Medea’s medicamina: Ovid and modern medicine in the ‘Stories of Jason and Medea’ by the Carracci

Lydia Hamlett (University of Cambridge) Experiencing Ovid in British Interiors

Linda Hinners (Nationalmuseum, Stockholm) Upstairs Downstairs. Ovid’s Metamorphoses in the Royal Palace of Stockholm

Barbara Ravelhofer (Durham University) Figuring Change: Ovidian metapoetics in dance

John Harrison (Open University) Roman Poetic Influences in 18th-century Stourhead – But which poet?

Elena Giusti (University of Warwick) Ovid’s Paravisual Metamorphoses in the Borghese Gallery

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