Mute Poetry Speaking Pictures


ACLS Fellowship Program


Comparative Literature


This project concerns words and images from antiquity to the Renaissance. Readings of Plato, Aristotle, and Horace establish the ways in which this relationship came down to the early moderns as profoundly ambiguous, not a straightforward subject of inquiry so much as a particularly shifty trope. I consider poets from Dante to Shakespeare, along with writer-artists from Alberti to Michelangelo, endeavoring to read the word-image crux as fundamental to the theory and practice of the arts. I focus on comparisons and combats between poets and painters, in the drama as a word-image composite, and the ways that images bring eros to language; I also study the discursive eloquence of Renaissance pictorial practice.