Latest Issue

How studying classics taught me how to appreciate art

Painters can be acute readers of classical poetry

By Charlotte Higgins   December 2019

Illustration: Kate Hazell

There are lots of weird side benefits in having studied classics—even a bit of classics, not necessarily the full torture version involving learning the dual and the aorist passive. One of them is knowing, roughly, what the hell is going on when you look up at an elaborately painted ceiling in some grand country house, or gazing at the walls of the National Gallery.

It has to be said, it doesn’t get you a…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect