‘Shelley on Fatherhood: The Genesis and Substance of His “Notes on Sculptures”’

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Drawing on allusions in Shelley's correspondence, I argue that Shelley's 'Notes on Sculptures' were written in preparation for a series of art essays to be published in Leigh Hunt’s then-new periodical, The Indicator. I then provide a reading of the notes that casts light on Shelley’s emotional life as a young, unfortunate father. It is my contention that Shelley’s encounter with the Florentine statues occasioned a meditation on his experience of fatherhood, which—together with the related motifs of childhood, childbirth, and child loss—becomes a common thread in the 'Notes on Sculptures' that links apparently disparate artworks. The deeply personal preoccupation with which the notes are imbued could explain why Shelley put them aside and never realized the project for which they had been made.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)63-85
Numero di pagine23
RivistaKeats-Shelley Journal
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • Children
  • Claire Clairmont
  • Ekphrasis
  • Harry Buxton Forman
  • Laocoön
  • Mary Shelley
  • Niobe
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • Sculpture
  • Thomas Medwin
  • Uffizi
  • Verrocchio


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