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Seminar paper from the year 2008 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, University of Münster (Englisches Seminar), language: English, abstract: One ambition of this assignment is to focus on the theory of comparing poetry and painting in terms of practices and synthesis in order to extend this theory to visual culture and its influence on artists and practices in their specific cultural context. The ambition is to show in how far an analysis of visual elements in late Renaissance culture contributes to our understanding of the cultural products of that era. To introduce the field of work I'd like to present a selection of theories connecting poetry and visual arts. Considering the enormous spectrum of visual art I'd like to focus on painting and draw a comparison to poetry. The idea is to oppose poetry and painting to find common practices and effects in order to substantiate the theory that both forms of art share common ground. The mutual influence, the shared vocabulary and language, and the similar working methods are of special interest here. In transition to late Renaissance visual culture and the work and life of John Donne, a short excursus will be necessary to have a closer look at the meaning of visuality for a culture. It is essential to our understanding of John Donne's poetry that it is a product of society and culture as well as it is of art. Social and cultural currents in Renaissance are equally important for the process of creation as are the experiences of the individual. Based on this theoretical background I'd like to establish a connection between the self-portraits John Donne commissioned during his lifetime and the influence of contemporary painters and art collectors. The chapter will allow us a deeper insight into Donne's affection for visual arts and image. Above that it allows us to go even further and explore the meaning of performance, staging and courtly festivals as part of the visual culture
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