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As in Ovid, So in Renaissance Art

Paul Barolsky
Renaissance Quarterly
Vol. 51, No. 2 (Summer, 1998), pp. 451-474
DOI: 10.2307/2901573
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2901573
Page Count: 24
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As in Ovid, So in Renaissance Art
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Abstract

This essay is a prolegomenon to the general study of Ovid's relations to Renaissance art and art theory. As is well known, the Metamorphoses determined the subjects of numerous works of art during the Renaissance. What is not sufficiently appreciated, however, is the extent to which the ancient poet's sense of "metamorphosis" as a figure of poesis, making or "poetry," helped shape Renaissance notions of poetic transformation in the visual arts. The emergent taste for the non finito in the Renaissance, most notably in the work of Michelangelo, had important roots in Ovidean aesthetics.

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