Sunlight on the River
Poems about Paintings, Paintings about Poems
The world’s great poets interpret the world’s great art in this exquisite book that investigates the connection between art and words, deepening our understanding of both.
The poet and the artist share a special kind of vision—an ability to see and penetrate the very essence of their subjects. This volume features poems by writers who turned to paintings for their inspiration, as well as paintings by artists who based their works on poems. Stretching across centuries and styles, this collection includes Rossetti’s haunting sonnet based on Botticelli’s Primavera; Wallace Stevens’s “The Man with the Blue Guitar,” a masterful meditation on an iconic painting by Picasso; William Carlos Williams’s joyous interpretations of scenes by Breughel; and Adrienne Rich lending a compassionate voice to the subject of Edwin Romanzo Elmer’s The Mourning Chair. These and other pairings appear as elegant texts facing full page, glowing illustrations of the paintings. An introduction to some of the greatest poets and painters in history, this remarkable book makes a perfect gift, offering compelling insights into the worlds of art and literature, and the relationship between the two.
Scott Gutterman has written about music and art for such publications as Vogue, Artforum, The New Yorker, and GQ. He is Deputy Director of the Neue Galerie New York and lives in Brooklyn.