"Paintings of wise men" — a note to Tennyson's "The Palace of Art"

George P. Landow, Professor of English and the History of Art, Brown University

Tennyson here creates a pantheon of major poets, including Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, and Milton, which is very similar to the bas relief of poets on the Albert Memorial (1876). I assume that include such a pantheon on the monument to Prince Albert derives not from Tennyson's influence but from the Victorian desire to create a literary and artistic canon, in part to provide a pedigree and a context for contemporary artists and writers.

[Back to the passage in "The Palace of Art"]


Tennyson, Alfred. The Poems. Ed. Christopher Ricks. (Longmans Annotated Poets Series) London: Longmans, 1969.

Victorian Website Overview Alfred Lord Tennyson

Last modified 11 October 2005