Painting and Music

Authored by: Therese Dolan

The Routledge Companion to Music and Visual Culture

Print publication date:  September  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415629256
eBook ISBN: 9780203629987
Adobe ISBN: 9781135956462


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Interior picturing rather than an ocular sensation, and internal perceptions rather than optical functions, began to partner closely with music when painting moved toward modernist abstraction over the course of the nineteenth century. The inter-relationship of the arts became the raison d'être of the periodical L'Artiste, founded in Paris in 1831, as evidenced in the frontispiece wood engraving to the first issue that featured a writer, painter, sculptor, and musician practicing their crafts (Figure 15.1). Painting had been traditionally allied more closely with literature as a sister art because both were seen to imitate human action. This concept was encapsulated in the ancient phrase from Horace, ut pictura poesis. Its acoustic alternative—ut pictura musica—began to take precedence as Romantic artists sought to infuse their works with the ineffable world of feelings and emotions.

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