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Artistic Analysis on Tintern Abbey

TL;DR: This article selected the novels and the works of artists such as Wordsworth, Turner, and Gentry to explain that Tintern Abbey symbolizes the passing of the British rural community, the game between kingship and religious power, the natural representation in industrial civilization, and the disappointment of returning to the middle ages.
Abstract: As one of the monasteries standing in English history for thousands of years, Tintern Abbey has great research value in religious history, architectural aesthetics, literature, and art. This paper selects the novels and the works of artists such as Wordsworth, Turner to explain that Tintern Abbey symbolizes the passing of the British rural community, the game between kingship and religious power, the natural representation in industrial civilization, and the disappointment of returning to the middle ages.
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: For instance, this article pointed out that the first twenty-three lines of the poem "Tintern Abbey" reveal a "uncertain notice" of an unseen human presence in the landscape.
Abstract: Rather than \"Tintern Abbey,\" \"Above Tintern of imaginative power (pp. 9-13), then vagrant and hermit Abbey\" might have been a more appropriate short title are alternative figures for this power (Wordsworth has im for the \"Lines\" Wordsworth wrote on \"revisiting the Banks agined both). What the imagination seems to displace is of the Wye.\" Kenneth Johnston notes that in Wordsworth's a potential engagement with a social reality — even as the day the Abbey provided \"the focus of all . . . tours up the hermit displaces the vagrants. Johnston notes how aes Wye,\"1 but in \"Tintern Abbey\" itself the focus has been thetic distance idealizes the landscape, transforming a altered. The poem was \"written a few miles above Tintroubling fact into \"a conventional picturesque detail\": tern,\" the title of \"Tintern Abbey\" says, and as a focal point Wordsworth \"recast[s] . . . beggars as 'vagrant dwellers in in the landscape, the ruined abbey has been replaced by the houseless woods,' and [then] further distance[es] them \"wreathes of smoke\" from the \"houseless woods,\" \"uncerinto the Hermit at home in his cave, where he belongs, tain notice, as might seem / of vagrant dwellers\" \"Or of sitting by his fire\" (p. 9). Or, as Jerome McGann writes some hermit's cave.\" In \"Tintern Abbey,\" neither vagrant of the poem in general: \"We are left only with the simplest nor hermit actually appear in the landscape. Each constinatural forms . . . Everything else has been erased — the tutes a possibility that the poet imagines, an imaginative abbey, the beggars and displaced vargrants\" (p. 88). From surmise, indexed by the \"smoke / Sent up in silence,\" by the first twenty-three lines, a reader might recreate the its \"uncertain notice\" of an unseen human presence. socio-historical context which the poem has rendered \"ob lique\" (the juxtaposition of \"pastoral farms\" and \"vagrant The landscape itself may in some respects be an dwellers\" \"contains a startling, even shocking contrast of imaginative surmise. Since it is unlikely that the poem was social conditions\" [McGann, p. 86]), but at the moment written at Tintern or above it (on the date of composition, that the hermit appears, the poet turns away from the July 13, 1798, the Wordsworths were below the abbey — political text upon which he might have meditated. All that on a boat bound for Bristol), the scene of composition that Wordsworth is willing to see are \"forms of beauty,\" a the title names is apparently an imaginary one.2 The land\"landscape of his own emotional needs\" (McGann, 87), scape may be a requirement of the particular genre in and if they have not been to him as \"a landscape to a blind which Wordsworth is writing: as in any topographical man's eye,\" they nevertheless exhibit a certain blindness, elegy, the poet revisits a cherished spot. In revisiting this Like the Hermit who displaces the vagrants, these forms spot, does the poem obscure a political reality? A toporeplace and idealize a landscape that might otherwise have graphical elegy does not require any architectural landbecome disquieting, mark to make the setting memorable, but in locating the abbey outside the text, \"Tintern Abbey\" may well evade By depicting the ruined abbey that \"Tintern Abbey\" political issues that a description of the abbey would have locates itself above, Johnston and McGann can mark the raised. Johnston, in \"The Politics of'Tintern Abbey,' \" and poem's blindspot: the poem \"removes possibly unsettling Jerome McGann, in The Romantic Ideology, argue this associations\" (Johnston, p. 8) and evades \"a certain nexus forcefully.3 As we know from William Gilpin and other of historical relations\" (McGann, p. 82); \"[I]t may well contemporary observers, Tintern Abbey could present a be . . . one of the most powerfully depoliticized poems in reality far grimmer than the landscape Wordsworth's poem the language — and, by that token, a uniquely political revisits. If the abbey were a picturesque ruin, it also proone\" (Johnston, p. 13). Since \"Tintern Abbey\" involves a vided shelter for homeless vagrants whose \"poverty and political stance, the question remains how Wordsworth wretchedness were . . . remarkable.\" \"I never saw so loathwould have interpreted it in the idealized landscape of the some a dwelling,\" Gilpin writes in Observations on the poem. If \"Tintern Abbey\" is, as McGann suggests, \"nor River Wye (1781) of the \"mansion\" \"between two ruined mative and in every sense exemplary\" of Romantic ideol walls\" that a poor crippled woman showed him: \"she ogy (p. 82) (\"the poetry of Romanticism is everywhere meant to tell us the story of her own wretchedness; and marked by extreme forms of displacement and poetic con all she had to shew us, was her own miserable habitation\" ceptualization whereby actual human issues . . . are re (pp. 35-37; cited by Johnston, p. 8). When Wordsworth situated in a variety of idealized localities\" [McGann, p. located his poem \"above Tintern Abbey,\" he distanced it 1]), would Wordsworth have interpreted this norm as de from this human desolation as well, from subject matter politicized, an expression of political disengagement? Is that in earlier works like \"The Ruined Cottage\" or \"The the hermit who appears to displace the vagrants a figure Female Vagrants\" he had chosen to engage. without political commitments?

5 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The relationship between the poem and the art of the abbey is explored in this paper, where Woof et al. present a catalogue of the Towards Tintern Abbey, a collection of paintings and drawings of the Cistercian abbey.
Abstract: The beautifully illustrated Dove Cottage exhibition catalogue Towards Tintern Abbey, edited by Robert Woof and Stephen Hebron in 1998, reveals how linked Wordsworth's poem has become with the historical abbey and with the art that depicts it. Although it is not mentioned in the poem, the Abbey has long served as its abbreviated title, a metonymic device alluding to the contemplative genre of the ruin poem, travel narratives, and visual art, in particular the early work of J.M.W. Turner, whose paintings of the Abbey often accompany Wordsworth's poem. The otherworldliness of Turner's paintings evokes the meditative mood of the poem, and, in both works of art, ruin coexists with a type of radiance. In Romanticism and the Forms of Ruin, Thomas McFarland examines this paradox in which "the sense of eternal power and of a divine spark was inseparable from diasparactive limitation--from incompleteness, fragmentation, and ruin" (15). The walls of an abandoned abbey were not simply inanimate blocks of stone; they wer e altered by the effects of time, the facts of history, and the imagination of the observer. As Wordsworth wrote in another context, While poring Antiquarians search the ground Upturned with curious pains, the Bard, a Seer, Takes fire. (Roman Antiquities" 218) By the 1790s, ruined monasteries were as much the haunt of artists as antiquarians. Tintern Abbey had already become a British landmark when Wordsworth visited it. Since the dissolution of Roman Catholic monasteries in Britain in the 1530s, this Cistercian Abbey, like so many others, "mouldered quietly away," until the late eighteenth-century taste for gothic ruins brought frequent visitors (Spence 311). Peaceful river tours described by William Gilpin in Observations on the River Wye (1783) "the chief architectural glory of the Wye Valley" (Andrews 94). Long before Wordsworth travelled through the area, artists sold picturesque watercolours of the Abbey to tourists, comparable to modem-day postcards (Rosenthal 50). Wordsworth went to the Wye Valley for the first time in 1793, returned in 1798, and later made several excursions with his family, the last in 1841 (Hayden 1-52). In 1798, he was on his way to Bristol to oversee the printing of Lyrical Ballads. After a five-day tour through the Wye Valley with Dorothy he added the new long poem in blank verse, just a few days before the book had to be ready to go to press. While some of the descriptive details in the poem echo Gilpin's (Moorman 402), before Wordsworth went to the Wye Valley, he met the Reverend Richard Warner (Johnston 588-589), a clergyman and man of letters, who had published the gothic novel Netley Abbey (1795), inspired by another famous ruin, which rivalled Tintern in prominence (Watson 14). Netley Abbey was the subject of one of the best known ruin poems of the late eighteenth century, William Sotheby's 1790 ode "Netley Abbey. Midnight," which Coleridge boasted to have known almost by heart (Wu 257; 195). A great advocate of walking tours Richard Warner had published earlier that year a popular book entitled a A Walk Through Wales in August 1797, and was preparing to make his second tour when he met the Wordsworths. His travels of August and September, 1798, became A Second Walk Through Wales (1799). The first Walk Through Wales featured a picture of Tintern Abbey by Thomas Girtin as its frontispiece. While he concedes that people might be weary of reading about the Wye Valley ("the scenery of this place and its neighbourhood" has been "described by Tourists out of number" [231]), he admits that "Nothing, indeed, can be more perfect than the architecture of its various parts; its moulded arches, clustering pillars, and figured windows" (233). The relationship between monastic ruins and heightened feeling appear in his description of Valle Crucis Abbey in the north of Wales, near Llagollen: The sun was setting when we approached the ruins of Valle-Crucis Abbey, and shed a rich but softened light over the pile; a deep repose reigned around, and not a sound was heard to disturb the reflections which a scene so solemn tended to inspire. …

2 citations