Revisiting the Canon: famous museum artworks in the hands and eyes of writers and artists in the nineteenth century
Stephen Wildman, Lancaster University, UK &
Laurence Roussillon-Constanty, Université Toulouse 3, France
In his introduction to Le musée Imaginaire, André Malraux notes that every museum goer knows that even the greatest museums such as the Louvre, the Tate Gallery or the Prado cannot encompass every work of art in the world. However, the very selection they offer calls up a myriad of other art works that are just as worthy of admiration. In a similar way, one can suggest that the artist (whether he/she be a painter, sculptor, writer or poet) who pays a tribute to a famous (and recognizable) piece of art translates his/her reception of the piece of art into another object that is either clearly identifiable - in a classical ekphrastic gesture - or bears a more subtle relation to the original piece of art so that it becomes other. In the margins of the museum canon or as a reaction to it, the transaction from word to image or from image to word thus allows modern artists to write a history of their own that, in the expression found on the Ulster Museum webpage, 'unravels the past to reveal the future'. This session will explore the word-image relation in cases where famous European artworks found themselves as a subject for new creation from the mid-nineteenth century onward.Full details of the conference can be found at: http://www.adbe.ulster.ac.uk/dwi
All submissions welcome.