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Virgil's fourth Eclogue and the visual arts

Houghton, L. B. T. (2015) Virgil's fourth Eclogue and the visual arts. Papers of the British School at Rome, 83. pp. 175-220. ISSN 0068-2462

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S0068246215000082


Virgil's poetry has frequently appeared in illustrated editions, and has regularly provided subjects for other works of art, including some of the most celebrated masterpieces of the western tradition. In view of its constant appropriation in literary contexts over the course of the centuries, we might expect the famous fourth Eclogue (the so-called ‘messianic’ eclogue) to have exerted more of an impact on visual culture than it appears to have done. This paper considers some of the possible reasons for the apparent scarcity of engagement with Virgil's poem beyond the literary sphere, and examines the uses to which the poet's text is put when it does make an appearance in visual media — perhaps more often than has sometimes been supposed.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Classics
ID Code:42876
Publisher:The British Academy

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