Ekphrasis

   A poetic, written description of a work of art. This literary genre, first introduced in late antiquity, gained great momentum during the Renaissance. Not only did it flourish once again as a literary medium, but patrons often commissioned works of art that recreated the descriptions provided by the ancients. Raphael's Galatea in the Villa Farnesina, Rome (1513), depends on an ekphrasis authored by Philostratus the Elder, and Sodoma's Marriage of Alexander and Roxana in the same location (1516-1519) owes its visual components to Lucian's description of a painting by the ancient master Apelles commissioned by Alexander the Great. Another ekphrasis written by Lucian provided the prototype for Sandro Botticelli's Calumny of Apelles (1495; Florence, Uffizi), the earliest Renaissance painting to recreate an ekphrasis from antiquity. Titian's Worship of Venus (1518; Madrid, Prado) depends on Philostratus the Younger's description, and his Bacchus and Ariadne (1520-1522; London, National Gallery) is based on an ekphrasis by Catullus that describes a bedspread created for the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. Among the Renaissance writers who delved in the genre are the poet Angelo Poliziano, who wrote an ekphrasis on the reliefs cast by Vulcan for the doors of his consort's temple that provided the inspiration for Botticelli's Birth of Venus (c. 1485; Florence, Uffizi), and the humanist Mario Equicola, who wrote the ekphrasis that Giovanni Bellini used for his Feast of the Gods (1514; Washington, National Gallery). Emulating the past, or perhaps even recreating it, was meant to bring prestige to writers, patrons, and artists for the erudition they demonstrated.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ekphrasis — /ekˈfrə sis/ noun A description of a work of art, possibly imaginary, produced as a rhetorical exercise ORIGIN: Gr, description …   Useful english dictionary

  • Ekphrasis — Le bouclier d Achille sur une fresque de Pompéi, I er s. ap. J. C.[1] Une ekphrasis[2], au …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ekphrasis — Unter Ekphrase oder Ekphrasis (griechisch ἔκ φρασις: „Beschreibung“, lat. descriptio; Plural: Ekphraseis) versteht man im weiteren Sinne eine literarische bzw. rhetorische Form, durch welche etwas sehr anschaulich und bildlich beschrieben oder… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ekphrasis — noun /ˈɛkfrəsɪs/ A clear, intense, self contained argument or pictorial description of an object, especially of an artwork. , 2004: One [trope] is ekphrasis, the literary description of a work of art, the most famous example of which may be the… …   Wiktionary

  • Ekphrasis — Ẹkphrasis   [griechisch »Beschreibung«] die, , antike Literatur und Rhetorik: die detaillierte Beschreibung von Dingen, Ereignissen oder Personen nach eigener Anschauung (z. B. Beschreibung von Baudenkmälern). * * * Ẹk|phra|sis, die; [griech.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Ekphrasis — Ek|phra|sis die; , ...phrasen <aus gr. ékphrasis »genaue Beschreibung«> die detaillierte Beschreibung von Personen, Sachen, Ereignissen nach eigener Anschauung (Rhet.) …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • Ecphrasis — Ekphrasis or ecphrasis is the graphic, often dramatic description of a visual work of art. In ancient times it referred to a description of any thing, person, or experience. The word comes from the Greek ek and phrasis , out and speak… …   Wikipedia

  • Ecphrasis — Ekphrasis L ekphrasis[1], au pluriel : ekphraseis[2], (grec ancien εκφραζειν, « expliquer jusqu au bout »)[3], est une description précise et détaillée, animée également, d un objet d art, ou artefact. Cette œuvre d art peut être… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ekphraseis — Ekphrasis L ekphrasis[1], au pluriel : ekphraseis[2], (grec ancien εκφραζειν, « expliquer jusqu au bout »)[3], est une description précise et détaillée, animée également, d un objet d art, ou artefact. Cette œuvre d art peut être… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bildbeschreibung — Unter Ekphrase oder Ekphrasis (griechisch ἔκ φρασις für „Beschreibung“, lat. descriptio, Plural „Ekphraseis“) versteht man im weiteren Sinne eine literarische bzw. rhetorische Form, durch welche etwas sehr anschaulich und bildlich beschrieben… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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