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date: 12 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Marvell’s poetry is distinguished by its preoccupation with forms, practices, and theories of the visual and plastic arts. Among the many fields of visual culture in which Marvell’s imagination played is that of print itself. This chapter focuses on visual features of print that might contribute to our understanding of Marvell’s identity as a poet within the culture in which his work circulated. First, the chapter considers Marvell’s early printed elegies and commendatory verses and how their layout represents the early modern poet in print. Second, the chapter considers the frontispiece portrait of Marvell printed in Miscellaneous Poems in the context of seventeenth-century portraits of poets and in relation to critical reception of his work in more recent times. The chapter demonstrates how visual evidence can lead to deeper understanding of how poets imagined themselves and their work in relation to their audiences, their genres and modes, and their peers.

Keywords: author portraits, commendatory verse, elegies, layout, print, visual art

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