Bill Dane Vision from Victory by J.Conrad
Acrylic on Canvas 1964 20.5 X 26.5″ (Click for a larger view)
I reproduce this marvellous 1964 painting by the eminent photographer Bill Dane as an example of ‘Reverse Ekphrasis’. I coined* this term informally to comment on the painting elsewhere and a subsequent exchange led me to consider: ‘In what way would ‘reverse Ekphrasis’ differ from ‘Illustration’ – why complicate matters?
My answer is that Bill’s painting transcends illustration in the same way that the best Ekphrastic writing transcends simple description – it has qualities and dimensions all its own which supplement and develop at the highest level its subject – ‘Victory – an Island Tale’ the rich, odd, flawed late novel by Joseph Conrad.
*So I did, before a quick Googling revealed I’m far from the first to do so, although the sense of its use varies widely…