Derek Walcott: Tiepolo's Hound

(1074 words)
  • John Thieme (University of East Anglia)

Tiepolo’s Hound (2000), Derek Walcott’s most important poem since Omeros (1990), spirals around two narratives, both of which concern painting. It is both a verse-novel about the Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro, who was born on the, then, Danish colonial island of St Thomas, and the story of the poet’s quest to rediscover a fugitive detail in a painting by a Venetian master, an epiphanic flash of colour on the inner thigh of a white hound. Initially he recollects having seen this in a painting by Tiepolo in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. However, with the passage of time memory blurs and he becomes uncertain whether the painting is by Tiepolo or Veronese.

The poem is also about …

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Thieme, John. "Tiepolo's Hound". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 December 2008
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Postcolonial literature - Britain, The Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand