Ars Poetica

Just don't expect it to roar, 2006

Horace, Ars Poetica, 20 BCE. "Painters and poets alike have always had an equal prerogative to dare anything," you say?—We know. This is a concession: we both ask for and grant the same license. But not so far as to unite the mild with the savage, or to couple snakes with birds, and lambs with tigers.

Roman mosaic from Carthage, Tunisia
Bardo Museum, Tunis

French Medieval Gargoyle

French gothic sculpture
A hybrid being, misericord from Rodez Cathedral

Hybrid being, detail from the Map of Hereford, 1310
Baltrusaitis: Réveils et Prodiges

Zebo da Firenze, Grotesque flutist, France, 1408
Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 144, fol. 28v

Rafael Sanzio, Grotesque motif, 1515

Marco Dente, after Raphael
Grotesque, ornamental engraving, early 16th century

François Desprez, Les songes drolatiques de Pantagruel, 1565

Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Vertumnus, oil (detail), 1590
Skokloster Castle, Sweden

A grotesque motif from a mannerist engraving

Christoph Jamnitzer, Neuw Grotteßken Buch, Nuremberg 1610

Jean-Jacques Lequeu, Grotesques, sketches, 1786
BNF, Paris

James Gillray, Excrecence, engraving, 1791

Composition with Hybrid Beings, England, 1865
Painted porcelain panel, after a design by Lucas van Leyden
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Then Lilies turned to Tigers
Arts & Crafts Movement, England, 19th Century

Philippe Wolfers, Dragonfly, jewelry, c.1900

Max Ernst, She looked slightly like a horse, collage, 1937

René Magritte, La saveur des larmes, 1948
Musées royaux des beaux-arts de Belgique, Bruxelles

Francis Bacon, Fragment of a Crucifixion, 1950
Oil and cotton on canvas, 139 x 108 cm
Stedelijk van Abbenmuseum, Eindhoven

Roberto Fontanarrosa, "If there's something we should discard... that's sterility," c.1982

Mariano Akerman, Three Figures by the Window, 1989

Patricia Piccinini, The Young Family, 2002

Santos Maschen, Dragon, Filete Porteño, 2005

A Flying Pig, c.2006

Carlos Nine, Hommage à l’arrière-cour, 2008

Thomas Mangold
„Aus einer Mücke eine Elefanten machen”
To make an elephant out of a mosquito, 2010
photograph and computer graphic design
Artist's remark: "If you rearrange reality and/or approach it in a new and unfamiliar angle there are endless possibilities to create stunning stuff."

Grotesque motif

Mariano Akerman
Plate relating visual motifs to Horace's lines in Ars Poetica, 2008
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