Image Credit: Probably Salomon Savery (1594–1665)
after Francis Clein (c.1590–1658)
Detail of frontispiece engraving in Ovid
Pub. Ovidii Nasonis Metamorphoseon, Libri XV…
Paris, Ægidii Morelli, 1637
David K.E. Bruce Fund (PA6519 .M2 1637)
From the Library: The Transformation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses
WASHINGTON, DC • National Gallery of Art • Ongoing
|By the sixteenth century, Ovid’s Metamorphoses had become the most important single source for mythological lore from the ancient world. It was read in many different languages, from the original Latin to vernacular translations in German, Italian, French, English, and Dutch, to name but a few. |
Through selections from the Library’s rare book collection, supplemented with prints, drawings, medals, and decorative arts objects, this exhibition illustrates the history and enduring popularity of Ovid’s Metamorphoses with readers, scholars, artists, and poets into the twentieth century. Addressing the question of how the text was used, delineating the kinds of books that were produced and their intended audiences, and exploring the various types of images that accompanied the text in this diverse range of editions, the exhibition explores some of the ways the text itself, and images derived from it, were transformed and consumed over time.
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