Shakespeare and the Visual Arts : The Italian Influence book cover
1st Edition

Shakespeare and the Visual Arts
The Italian Influence

ISBN 9780367667931
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
424 Pages

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Book Description

Critical investigation into the rubric of 'Shakespeare and the visual arts' has generally focused on the influence exerted by the works of Shakespeare on a number of artists, painters, and sculptors in the course of the centuries. Drawing on the poetics of intertextuality and profiting from the more recent concepts of cultural mobility and permeability between cultures in the early modern period, this volume’s tripartite structure considers instead the relationship between Renaissance material arts, theatre, and emblems as an integrated and intermedial genre, explores the use and function of Italian visual culture in Shakespeare’s oeuvre, and questions the appropriation of the arts in the production of the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. By studying the intermediality between theatre and the visual arts, the volume extols drama as a hybrid genre, combining the figurative power of imagery with the plasticity of the acting process, and explains the tri-dimensional quality of the dramatic discourse in the verbal-visual interaction, the stagecraft of the performance, and the natural legacy of the iconographical topoi of painting’s cognitive structures. This methodolical approach opens up a new perspective in the intermedial construction of Shakespearean and early modern drama, extending the concept of theatrical intertextuality to the field of pictorial arts and their social-cultural resonance. An afterword written by an expert in the field, a rich bibliography of primary and secondary literature, and a detailed Index round off the volume.

Table of Contents


List of Figures

Notes on Contributors



Timon of Athens. The Theatre and the Visual

Michele Marrapodi


1 Shakespeare the Emblematist

Claudia Corti

2 Titus Andronicus and Renaissance Visual Culture: Contemporary Emblems of Hand and Ekphrasis

Paromita Deb

3 "All Adonises must die": Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis and the Episodic Imaginary

Peter Latka

4 Shakespeare’s Octavia and Cleopatra: Between Stasis and Movement

Olivia Coulomb

5 Both Goddess and Woman: Cleopatra and Venus

Hanna Scolnicov

6 Vanishing Points and Horizons of Audience Perception in Shakespeare’s Late Plays Claire T. Guéron  


7 "Pencill’d pensiveness and colour’d sorrow": Italian Visual Arts and Ekphrastic Tension in Othello, Cymbeline, and Lucrece

Michele Marrapodi

8 "Wear this jewel for me, ’tis my picture": The Miniature in Shakespeare’s Work

Camilla Caporicci

9 The Charm of Decapitation: Medusa in Caravaggio and Measure for Measure

Rocco Coronato

10 ‘Those foundations which I build upon’: Construction and Misconstruction in The Winter’s Tale

Muriel Cunin

11 Shakespeare’s Genre Paintings

Anthony R. Guneratne

12 Verbal Painting by Means of Dance and Portraits

Necla Çikigil


13 Painting and Representing Gender in the Drama of Shakespeare and his Spanish Contemporaries

José M. Gonzàlez

14 "Paint me in my gallery": Time, Perspective, and the Painter Addition to The Spanish Tragedy

Timothy A. Turner

15 Shakespearean Iconography: The Verbal-Visual Nexus to Serpents in Nineteenth-Century Illustrated Editions

Sandra Pietrini

16 Wladyslaw Czachòrski – A Polish Painter with Italian Soul and Shakespearean Vision: "Hamlet Receiving the Players"

Sabina Laskowska-Hinz

17 Julius Caesar: Shakespeare and the Ruins of Rome

Graham Holderness


Beginnings and Departures

Stuart Sillars



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Michele Marrapodi is Full Professor of English Language and Literature, and History of English Drama, in the Department of Scienze Umanistiche at the University of Palermo.