Polysèmes 15 (2016) : L’or et l’art

Sous la direction de  Catherine Delyfer

The present volume examines the unique position of gold across literature and the arts in Britain from the end of the sixteenth century to the contemporary period. A mineral like no other, gold is commonly associated with a host of ideas, sensations, values, affects and effects. Its materiality inevitably conjures up a paradoxical symbolism which negotiates tensions between the tangible and the immaterial, the beautiful and the commercial, the sacred and the profane, the mythical and the political, the ephemeral and the untarnishable, virtue and lucre. Both a highly ductile material and an elusive, malleable sign, gold lends itself to multiple uses and interpretations.


Gold in William Shakespeare’s King Henry VIII (1613)

Gold in Wright of Derby’s Paintings

The Ambivalent Meaning of Gold in Victorian Fiction: Golden Hair and Golden Voices in George Eliot’s Silas Marner, Bram Stoker’s “The Secret of the Growing Gold” and George Du Maurier’s Trilby

“Gleaming with gold and blue and cinnabar”: William Morris’s Colourful Revision of the Myth of the Golden Fleece

“The primary colour of delight”: Walter Pater and Gold

All is not Gold that Glitters: The Gilded Apple (1899))

Fantasied images of women: representations of myths of the golden apples in “classic” Victorian paintings

Gold in the city? Symons’s London: A Book of Aspects (1909)

Patrick Scott’s Gold Paintings: an Art of Reconciliation

  • Patrick Scott : un art de la réconciliation