Poe and the visual arts

Barbara Cantalupo

Research output: Book/ReportBook

21 Scopus citations


Although Edgar Allan Poe is most often identified with stories of horror and fear, there is an unrecognized and even forgotten side of the writer. He was a self-declared lover of beauty, who “From childhood's hour…[had] not seen/As others saw.” Poe and the Visual Arts is the first comprehensive study of how the author’s work relates to the visual culture of his time, reprising Poe’s “deep worship of all beauty,” which resounds in his earliest writing and never entirely fades, despite the demands of his commercial writing career. Barbara Cantalupo examines the ways in which Poe integrated the visual art he knew into sketches, tales, and literary criticism, paying close attention to the sculptures and paintings he saw in books, magazines, and museums while living in Philadelphia and New York from 1838 until his death in 1849. She argues that Poe’s sensitivity to the visual media gives his writing a distinctive “graphicality” (Poe’s coinage). While Poe is most often associated with the macabre, Cantalupo shows how it was his enduring love of beauty and knowledge of the visual arts that enabled him to note and use what he saw as a writer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherThe Pennsylvania State University
Number of pages198
ISBN (Electronic)9780271064284
ISBN (Print)9780271063096
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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