Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Ovid’s Metamorphoses : Myth and Art: Assignment

Roman Slavery

Influence of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

Myth and Art


Ovid’s poem the Metamorphoses had a great influence on later art and literature.  In this project you will examine a story from Ovid’s poem that influenced a later artist.  Starting off with an understanding of the myth in the Metamorphoses, you will then analyze how that myth was interpreted and transformed by another artist.


****Your final project will consist of a three page 12-point font/regular margins essay that discusses the following items: (60 points)


  • general information about the artist who has reinterpreted Ovid

  • a description of the myth in Ovid’s Metamorphoses that inspired your artist

(based on an English translation of the text -- either provided by me, or an online translation, such as that of A. Kline: )

  • a discussion of how the artist shaped Ovid’s telling of the myth to make it his/her own


****You will give a brief (3-5 minute) presentation to the class that describes your findings in the essay.  This should be a poster or slide presentation that includes an image of the art-work you are discussing. (20 points)


****You will translate from the Latin an excerpt from the selection of Ovid’s Metamorphoses that you choose to discuss. The excerpt should be 5-7 lines in length.  You should discuss with me in advance your choice of lines. (20 points)


Worksheet on work of art and myth: Due in class: Jan 26, 2016

this will serve as the basis for your essay, so be as thorough as possible


Essay Due: in class Feb 2, 2016


Presentation: week of Feb 1 & Feb 8, 2016


Translation Due: in class Feb 11, 2016


You may find your own work of art/literature that was influenced by the Metamorphoses, or choose one from the following resources:


National Gallery of Art, Washington DC  (


Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

List of works of art in the Metropolitan’s collections inspired by the Metamorphoses:



The National Gallery, London

Web resources related to exhibition on Titian’s paintings inspired by Metamorphoses

(website includes translation of Ovid, poetry composed in honor of exhibition, and much more)



Khan Academy

Video on Correggio’s painting, “Jupiter and Io”