Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Speaking With the DeadExplorations in Literature and History$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jurgen Pieters

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748615889

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748615889.001.0001

Show Summary Details

The Gaze of Medusa and the Practice of the Historian: Rubens and Huygens

The Gaze of Medusa and the Practice of the Historian: Rubens and Huygens

Chapter:
(p.54) Chapter 2 The Gaze of Medusa and the Practice of the Historian: Rubens and Huygens
Source:
Speaking With the Dead
Author(s):

Jürgen Pieters

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748615889.003.0003

This chapter addresses the significance of Constantijn Huygens and Peter Paul Rubens. Conversation with the dead is a dialogue of the special sort that thrives upon the separation of its participants, on the physical absence of one or both parties, and on the structural impossibility of real-life interaction which follows from the dead's particular modus vivendi. Rubens' painting, which represents the head of Medusa, belongs to a long narrative tradition of which early traces can be found in Homer. The French critic Alain Michel briefly touches upon the figure of Medusa in the opening pages of La parole et la beauté. Furthermore, the chapter explores Shelley's 1819 poem on the Medusa painting that he saw in the Uffizi in Florence, which he believed to be by Leonardo. Shelley wrote that although the woman's head is no longer attached to its trunk, there is still life in death.

Keywords:   Constantijn Huygens, Peter Paul Rubens, Medusa, Leonardo, Shelley, Alain Michel, painting

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.