Published Works


About this Item

Title: Literary News, Notices, &c., Works of Art, &c.

Creator: Walt Whitman [unsigned in original]

Date: April 15, 1846

Whitman Archive ID: per.00602

Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle 15 April 1846: [2]. Our transcription is based on a digital image of a microfilm copy of the original issue. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the journalism, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: This piece is unsigned. However, Whitman was the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle when this editorial was written, and it was first attributed to Whitman by Cleveland Rodgers and John Black in Walt Whitman, The Gathering of the Forces: Editorials, Essays, Literary and Dramatic Reviews and Other Material Written by Walt Whitman as Editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in 1846 and 1847 (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1920). The piece was also included by Herbert Bergman in Walt Whitman, The Journalism. Volume I: 1834–1846 (New York: Peter Lang, 1998). The Whitman Archive editors agree that the style and content of the piece are consistent with other known Whitman writings of this period.

Contributors to digital file: Ruth L. Bohan, Hannah Fink, and Kevin McMullen

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Literary News, Notices, &c., Works of Art, &c.

Typee.—A strange, graceful, most readable book this. It seems to be a compound of the "Seward's Narrative," and "Guidentio de Lucca," style and reading. As a book to hold in one's hand and pore dreamily over of a summer day, it is unsurpassed.—(Wiley & Putnam 161 Broadway.)

Titmarsh's Journal.—Every body who has read, (and laughed at withal) the "Yellowplush Correspondence," knows the forte of this writer. It is a gay, rollicky, slap dash book. (Wiley & Putnam.)

Dick's Astronomy.—A mere newspaper notice could not begin to do this fine work justice. For those beginning the nobls study on which it treats, the book is better than any now published, (Harpers, 82 Cliff street.)

Whewell's Morality.—This work, with that just noticed and Darwin's voyage of a Naturalist, form part of HARPER'S NEW MISSCELLANY, an elegant issue of works at 50 cents a volume, bound in extra muslin, gilt, and printed on good paper. The plan has some improvements on the old "Family Library," all the good points with of that celebrated series. Of Whewell's work the best critics speak in high terms; and of the 'Naturalist' it only needs a slight inspection, to decide most favorably. It is most comprehensive; the author sailed to various parts of the world, and this book is the well-written result of his researches into Geology, Botany, and Ornithology—and his observation of Insects, Fishes, Marine peculiarities, &c. &c.

Thiodolf.—A book from the German of Foque—and with all the intellectual depth and poetical grace of the German. Wiley & Putnam, the publishers, do well to bring out works of this kind—although publishers in general are chary of them.

Littell's Living Age.—Here is contained the culled flowers and the picked fruits of English periodical literature. There is always matter for thought and analysis in the 'Age.' It is published weekly, price 12½ cts. (Taylor & Co. 2 Astor House, N. Y.)

Titian's Venus.1—A soft beautiful voluptuous painting—but the exhibitors should not have the bad taste to shoulder it on Titian. Of course, if that artist had any thing to do with it, this is a copy—though it is a very good one.2


1. Tiziano Vecellio (c.1488/90–1576), known in English as Titian, was one of the most versatile painters of the Italian Renaissance and a leading member of the Venetian school. During his long and distinguished career he completed several paintings of Venus, goddess of love, several of which were among his most highly regarded works. These included Venus Anadyomene, c.1520, Venus of Urbino, 1538, and Venus and Adonis, 1554. [back]

2. Whitman is surely correct that the painting he saw was a copy after Titian and not by the master himself. It was common practice among both American and European artists to copy paintings by Old Masters while touring Europe. In an age before the widespread availability of color reproductions, these copies aided artists in studying the techniques and color harmonies employed by these earlier artists, whose works were not yet available in this country. It is unclear which of Titian's Venuses Whitman saw nor where he saw it. The year before, perhaps the same painting of Venus, also attributed to Titian, was exhibited at 449 Broadway. See Carrie Rebora Barratt, "Mapping the Venues: New York City Art Exhibitions," Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825–1861 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000), 77. [back]


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