Poe and the Visual Arts by Barbara CantalupoPoe and the Visual Arts by Barbara Cantalupo

Poe and the Visual Arts

byBarbara Cantalupo

Paperback | May 15, 2014

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Although Edgar Allan Poe is most often identified with stories of horror and fear, there is an unrecognized and even forgotten side to 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 Poe’s work relates to the visual culture of his time. It reveals his “deep worship of all beauty,” which resounded in his earliest writing and never entirely faded, despite the demands of his commercial writing career. Barbara Cantalupo examines the ways in which Poe integrated visual art 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 visual media gave his writing a distinctive “graphicality” and shows how, despite his association with the macabre, his enduring love of beauty and knowledge of the visual arts richly informed his corpus.

Barbara Cantalupo is Associate Professor of English at Penn State Lehigh Valley and editor of The Edgar Allan Poe Review. Barbara Cantalupo is Associate Professor of English at Penn State Lehigh Valley and editor of The Edgar Allan Poe Review.
Title:Poe and the Visual ArtsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.6 inPublished:May 15, 2014Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271063106

ISBN - 13:9780271063102

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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations


Note on the Text


1 Poe’s Exposure to Art Exhibited in Philadelphia and Manhattan, 1838–1845

2 Artists and Artwork in Poe’s Short Stories and Sketches

3 Poe’s Homely Interiors

4 Poe’s Visual Tricks

5 Poe’s Art Criticism





Editorial Reviews

“Paints a very detailed picture of the art-world in Poe’s time, providing the reader with a rich background against which many of the tales are revisited.”

—Francie Crebs, Transatlantica: Revue d'études américaines