Search This Blog


17 November 2014

Emulation Talk at the British Institute in Florence

Emulate the Best

In anticipation of my upcoming talk at the Harold Acton Library of the British Institute in Florence, I thought I’d post this apposite extract from my favorite English poet, John Dryden:

Kneller's portrait of Dryden
Of various Parts a perfect whole is wrought;
Thy pictures think, and we Divine their Thought.
*Shakespear, thy Gift, I place before my Sight;
With awe I ask his Blessing e’re I write;
With Rev’rence look on his Majestick Face;
Proud to be less, but of his Godlike Race.
His Soul Inspires me, while thy Praise I write,
And like Teucer, under Ajax Fight;
Bids thee thro’ me, be bold; with dauntless breast
Contemn the bad and Emulate the best…
—John Dryden, “To Sir Godfrey Kneller, Principal Painter to His Majesty”, from Miscellanies (1694), in The Poems of John Dryden, ed. John Sargeaunt, Oxford Editions of Standard Authors, 1948, p. 168.
*Shakespeare’s Picture drawn by Sir Godfrey Kneller, and given to the Author

The talk is open to members of the Library, but joining the Library is rather straightforward, in person at the Institute.

An encouraging review of The Challenge of Emulation has been published by the Sacred Architecture Journal:

And here are some links to recent articles of interest: