Ossian and Visual Art: Mislaid and Rediscovered

Murdo Macdonald (Lead / Corresponding author)

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This is an invited contribution to the special Ossian in the Twenty-first Century issue of the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, edited by Sebastian Mitchell (Univ. of Birmingham).

Note is taken, for example, of Macdonald’s role in 2013 in identifying J M W Turner’s early Ossian work. Thanks to Macdonald’s work with the Cesarotti Project at the University of Padua, that identification is complemented by discussion of the substantial set of Ossian works by Luigi Zandomeneghi (pupil of Canova, sculptor of Tomb of Titian in Venice), a bound portfolio of 48 engravings, I Canti di Ossian, printed in Venice in 1817. It is noted that by drawing attention to the importance of Cesarotti’s Ossian translation of 1763 and its consequences, the University of Padua project has opened up new possibilities for research with respect to visual art and Ossian. One further line which is discussed is the reuse by Italian artists of a work attributed to the eighteenth-century Scottish artist, Alexander Runciman.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12391
Pages (from-to)235-248
Number of pages14
JournalJournal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Issue number2
Early online date18 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Ossian
  • Cesarotti Project
  • Visual Art
  • Luigi Zandomeneghi
  • J M W Turner
  • Art
  • Celtic revival
  • Girodet
  • James Macpherson
  • Runciman
  • Zandomeneghi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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