Getting a smattering of attention this week is a piece about a portrait of John Dryden, which was recently put on display at the National Portrait Gallery. Of interest to us — besides the fact we all know about his translating of epics and the like — is this bit from the Guardian:
The portrait is by the court painter John Michael Wright, who completed it in 1668, the year Charles II made Dryden the country’s first formal poet laureate. Inscriptions from six Latin poets – Virgil, Horace, Martial, Juvenal, Ovid and Statius – are carried on the picture’s cartouche, or oval surround. The main inscription reads Par omnibus Unus – One [poet] a match for [them] all.
The latter quote can be seen in the NPG photo of the portrait (which appears with assorted croppings in the news coverage) … not sure if it’s meant to be a reminiscence of Georgics 3.244: amor omnibus idem :
The ‘omnibus’, of course, would be Vergil, Horace et al, but alas, I can’t find a photo with any of the other inscriptions and it isn’t mentioned at the NPG page. FWIW, the NPG has a pile of portraits of Dryden …
- Gallery shows Dryden in new light as Poet Laureate (Evening Standard)