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    Leigh Hunt’s Romantic Paper Gallery: reading Spenser through the Old Masters in 1833 and 1844

    Calè, Luisa (2015) Leigh Hunt’s Romantic Paper Gallery: reading Spenser through the Old Masters in 1833 and 1844. La Questione Romantica 5 (1-2), pp. 31-50. ISSN 1125 - 0364.

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    In 1833 Leigh Hunt announced a ‘new gallery of paintings’ in the New Monthly Magazine, a virtual gallery of words selected from Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene (1596). Hunt’s critical experiment illustrates the possibilities of art criticism in an emerging culture of Old Master exhibitions in the first decades of the nineteenth century. Calling on Spenser to bring a gallery of Old Masters before the reader’s eyes expresses the Cockney School’s claim to a counter-poetics of fancy. Where Coleridge argues that “the poet should paint to the imagination, not to the fancy”, Hunt imagines the medium of the book turning into a gallery: “Thousands of images start out of the canvass of his pages to laugh at the assertion”. Revisited in 1844, a year after the publication of the first volume of John Ruskin’s Modern Painters Hunt’s anachronistic Spenserian experiment offers a way of measuring diverging Romantic legacies for the Victorian period.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Romantic museum, virtual gallery, old masters, modern painters, Leigh Hunt, William Hazlitt, John Ruskin, Edmund Spenser, William Wordsworth, The Faerie Queene, Titian, Poussin, The British Institution, The National Gallery, literary galleries
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Research Centres and Institutes: Nineteenth-Century Studies, Centre for
    Depositing User: Luisa Cale
    Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2016 13:12
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:36


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