Yeats and Art History

Yeats and Art History

"Leda and the Swan" Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)W. B. Yeats attended an art school, not a college, and, although he gave up any intention to pursue his father’s occupation, painting portraits, visual imagery is of great importance in his poetry. I discuss his debt to formal art history (particularly to the art historian Josef Strzygowski) and Yeats’s way of devising his theories of historical cycles by studying, not politics (as Toynbee and others did) but painting and statuary.

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