Concepts of “Reversed Ekfrásis”: Camões’s Poetry in Portuguese Artistic Narrative

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Since its publication in 1572 the poem Os Lusíadas by Luís de Camões has been considered a masterwork, describing in decasyllabic verses one of the most extraordinary events of the Portuguese sixteenth century: the conquest of seas never before sailed and the triumphant arrival in the lands of Calicut in 1497. However, it was only from the last quarter of the eighteenth century that Camões’s work became a scholarly benchmark in the curriculum vitae of Portuguese artists. This was due above all to the cultural context of the era, closely attuned to the interest of the Lisbon elites in recovering Por-tuguese poetic memory. It can be stated that this era witnessed the recovery of Os Lusíadas, which had won its own space in Lisbon artistic circles, later serving different “causes” throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in a striking process of reversed “Ekfrásis”.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Pages (from-to)1333-1353
Number of pages21
JournalArte, Individuo y Sociedad
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2023


  • Camões
  • Poetry
  • Painting
  • Mythology
  • Os Lusíadas
  • Carlos Reis
  • Pintura
  • Mitología


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