Scenes of Ovid’s love stories in art
If alive I offend the living and dead I offend the dead, throw me from both zones:
—Ovid, “Myrrha”, Metamorphoses
The poet Ovid plays a central role in Roman literary history and culture. Best known for his Metamorphoses, a 15-book mythological epic, and his collections of love poetry, particularly Amores and Ars Amatoria, Ovid’s poetry has greatly influenced Western art, and his works remain some of the most important sources of classical mythology. From Perseus’s killing of Medusa to the story of Venus and Adonis, the heroes, gods, nymphs, and characters of the classical world are brought to life. From Jane Alison’s new translation, Change Me: Stories of Sexual Transformation from Ovid, here is a slideshow of scenes from Ovid’s stories in art.
Jane Alison is author of Change Me: Stories of Sexual Transformation from Ovid. Her previous works on Ovid include her first novel, The Love-Artist (2001) and a song-cycle entitled XENIA (with composer Thomas Sleeper, 2010). Her other books include a memoir, The Sisters Antipodes (2009), and two novels, Natives and Exotics (2005) and The Marriage of the Sea (2003). She is currently Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia.