The Music of Painting: Music, Modernism and the Visual Arts from the Romantics to John Cage

Rob Young writes:

‘Can one imagine anything in the arts,’ Louis-Bertrand Castel wrote in 1763, ‘which would surpass the visible rendering of sound, which would enable the eyes to partake of all the pleasures which music gives to the ears?’ That would, it’s easy to admit, be quite a spectacle. But would it be the future of art, the logical outcome of whatever synthesising tendency the arts might have? That’s another question entirely. If it was going to happen at all, it was most likely during the futurist frenzy of the early 20th century. Peter Vergo, in The Music of Painting, examines a neglected aspect of the modernist era, when a variety of painters, poets, composers and inventors became preoccupied with the convergence of visual and aural stimuli – a utopian race towards a future of total sensory immersion.

(LRB 22 September 2011)

Other Titles of Interest