Transforming the Masterpiece

15 February 2011 – 15 March 2011

By sifting through centuries of great European art, Transforming the Masterpiece will find answers to the question: what exactly have artists been letting themselves in for when they rework in visual imagery some of the greatest poems and stories ever written?

Is it an act of homage, or rivalry, or translation, or all three at once? And when a poet takes on a painting, is the artistic challenge the same, only in reverse?

Each of the sessions will start by looking through a handful of paintings, holding them up in turn next to the story or poem which inspired them all, and then, by giving even closer attention to one of them, decide whether it is worth more to us as a version of the original or as a masterpiece in its own right.