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Ariosto, the Orlando Furioso and English Culture$
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Jane E. Everson, Andrew Hiscock, and Stefano Jossa

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266502

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266502.001.0001

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The Visualization of the Orlando Furioso

The Visualization of the Orlando Furioso

From the Original Editions to Modern Video Art1

(p.27) 2 The Visualization of the Orlando Furioso
Ariosto, the Orlando Furioso and English Culture

Lina Bolzoni

British Academy

Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto, published in 1516 (and later in 1521 and 1532), very quickly became a bestseller, the first great classic of modernity. An important part of this success was due to the fact that illustrations began to be produced for the poem almost immediately. We will see how the early illustrated editions of the Orlando Furioso clearly attempted to influence its reception and the memory of the reader, while at the same time addressing the themes and narrative structure of the text. This essay will analyse the enduring popularity of the visual imagery of the poem, beginning with the emblems that frame the text in the editions prepared for publication by the author himself and concluding with an example of video art that reinterprets the illustrations from the Valgrisi edition published in 1556.

Keywords:   early illustrated editions, reception, emblems, visual imagery, video art

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