We will focus on the presence of descriptions of or allusions to the figurative arts (painting and sculpture) in Greek texts in prose and poetry from the Imperial period, up to the 4th century. Texts will include extracts from the Greek novels (Achilles Tatius, Longus, Heliodorus), the allegorical Tabula Cebetis, texts by Lucian (e.g. the Calumny of Apelles, Zeuxis, the Hall), Philostratos and Dio Chrysostom and from some early Christian authors (e.g. Asterios of Amaseia). We will look in detail at the literary and rhetorical techniques used in these texts, at their intertextual relationships to earlier texts (especially the Homeric Shield of Achilles), in order to understand the different types of interaction between text and image that are in play. We will pay particular attention to the potential metaliterary and metafictional functions of descriptions of works of art as well as to ancient theories of description (ekphrasis and enargeia), vision and artistic creation.
- Enseignant: Ruth Webb