February 8, 2009

Reading As Artists’ Muse

Posted by at 12:49 pm in Reads | Permalink

In last week's Ink Splot 26 entry of my top five favorite book covers, I touched on the theme of art inspiring writers; such was the case for F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic for adults, The Great Gatsby. This got me thinking: what other writers have written books based on a painting or piece of artwork they've seen? This question then motivated me to take a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art one Saturday afternoon to see if any of the paintings, sculptures, or photographs would move me to start writing.

As I walked around The Met I realized that as much as art has inspired writers, writing/reading has equally inspired artists. From paintings dating back to before the Renaissance through 18th- and 19th-century European portrait paintings and into the artwork of the 20th century and today, I could see that artists have long viewed the act of reading and/or writing as a type of muse.

Don't believe me? Take a look for yourself!


And now I bet you're wondering: did walking around The Met and looking at different pieces of art inspire me to write anything? Well, it did in fact . . . you're reading it! :-)

— Carly M., STACKS Staffer

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