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By Phillip John Usher

Epic Arts in Renaissance France studies the connection among epic literature and different paintings types comparable to portray, sculpture, and structure. Why, the publication asks, the epic heroes and issues so ubiquitous in French Renaissance paintings are greatly celebrated while a similar period's literary epics, usually maligned, now cross unread? To discover this paradox, the ebook investigates a few epic development websites, i.e. particular occasions during which literary epics both develop into the root for realisations in different paintings kinds or in some way contest or compete with them. starting with a detour concerning the visual appeal of epic heroes (Odysseus and Aeneas) on marriage chests in fifteenth-century Florence, the research strains how French groups of readers, writers, translators, and artists reinvent epic varieties of their own--or their patron's--image. Following prolonged dialogue of 3 galleries in numerous areas of France, which all depicted key scenes from the classical epics of Homer, Virgil, and Lucan, the e-book turns to epics written within the interval. Chapters of Epic Arts specialize in Etienne Dolet's Fata, which compliment the victories (but additionally disasters) of Francois Ier in ways in which make it either a continuum of Fontainebleau and a reaction to the party of French defeat in overseas work; on Ronsard's Franciade, whose muse was once depicted at the facade of the Louvre and whose tale used to be ultimately taken up in an extended sequence of work by way of Toussaint Dubreuil; and on Agrippa d'Aubigne's Protestant Tragiques, which allude to, and often functionality as graffiti over, Catholic artworks in Paris and Rome. located on the frontier of literary feedback and paintings historical past, Epic Arts in Renaissance France is a compelling demand a revaluation of French epic literature and certainly of the way we learn.

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Abrams, 1969), 12; Kathleen Wilson-Chevalier, ‘Women on Top at Fontainebleau’, Oxford Art Journal, 16/1 (1993), 34–48; Fontainebleau; l’art en France, 1528–1610 (Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1973), ii. 152–3. 36 In a general sense, the construction and decoration of the gallery took place around the same time that Homer’s epics made their way to France. 37 It is indeed impossible to separate the textual event from the artistic one. 38 So, what was this gallery like? And how did the epic text take its place within the space of the château?

Beginning with a discussion of Homer and the well-known Galerie d’Ulysse at Fontainebleau, I will subsequently discuss two lesser-studied sites—namely, the Galerie du Grand Ecuyer at the Château d’Oiron, which takes up Virgil’s Aeneid, and the Galerie de Pharsale, which takes up Lucan’s epic the Pharsalia, at the Château d’Ancy-le-Franc. It will emerge from the pages that follow how the three galleries relate to both the original texts, to the ways in which those texts were translated and commented upon by Renaissance scholars, as well as to the political and historical moment at which epic enters into art.

In 1533, Guillaume Télin defined ‘heroic poetry’ as that which evokes ‘les faicts et gestes des nobles et gens heroiques’ (‘the facts and deeds of nobles and of heroic persons’); more specifically, such poetry tells the story, he says, of individuals who live public lives (‘ceulx qui ont expose leur vie jusques a la mort pour la liberte et bien de la 71 72 Skenazi, Le Poète architecte en France, 20. Skenazi, Le Poète architecte en France, 11. Skenazi, Le Poète architecte en France, 301. Studies by Roy Eriksen and Mariel Cunin are also close relatives of the present study.

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