Fuquan Smith Detail Project

Poets Bio

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Born August 4, 1792 at Field Place, England, Percy Bysshe Shelly was the oldest son of Timothy and Elizabeth Shelly with one brother and four sisters. He left home at age 10 to study at Syon House Academy. Two years later at age 12 he attended Eton college for six years later to transfer to Oxford University. Shelly began writing poetry at Eton and published his first piece of work "Zastrozzi (1810)". Later the same year Shelly published a pamphlet tiled "The Necessity of Atheism" which got him expelled from Oxford. After expulsion he eloped with Harriet Westbrook, the 16 year old daughter of a coffee house keeper, and the coupled moved to Ireland which inspired the work "Queen Mab(1813)". In the following year, 1812, Shelly met his hero William Godwin, the author of Political Justice. Despite the fact that Shelly no longer enjoyed his relationship with Harriet he still had two children together. At 21, 1813, Shelly was with Harriet when their first child was born, but before the second was born Shelly ran off with another woman, Mary Godwin daughter to his mentor William Godwin. Shelly, Mary, and Jane (Marry's sister) went to London and toured most of Europe. When returning to London not only was Mary pregnant, but Harriet as well. Harriet gave birth to Shelly's second son Charles in November 1814, but by that time Harriet has requested a divorce, sued Shelly for alimony, and requested custody of  the two children. Some time later Mary had her child but the infant died a couple weeks later. In 1816 Mary gave birth to their new son William. In the same year Harriet committed suicide drowning herself in a lake, a couple weeks later Mary and Shelly married, however despite the death of Harriet Shelly did not receive custody of his children. When matters settled in England, Shelly and Mary moved to Marlow, Buckinghamshire. While there Shelly met John Keats and Leigh Hunt, both poets and writers who stimulated Shelly's literary pursuits. In 1817 Shelly wrote "Laon and Cythna" or "Revolution of the Golden city" which was later changed to "The Revolt of Islam" which was about religion in a general. After the publication of  "The Revolt of Islam" the couple moved to Italy and moved from city to city in the course of the next several years. However when they lived in Rome, their son William died from a fever, the next year their daughter Clara died as well. During this time Shelly wrote many works such as "Prometheus Unbound" , "The Cenci", and " The Masque of Anarchy and Men of England". On July 8, 1822 around the age of 30 Shelly drowned while sailing from Liverno to Lerici. The news report stated that it was an accident however evidence shows it may have been murder from a person who did not believe in Shelly's ideas. Shelly's body was cremated at Viareggio and his ashes were placed in Protestant Cemetery in Rome.

History of Poem

"Ozymandias" was first published on January 11, 1818 in the "Examiner" in London. Shelly took inspiration from the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II and the monuments of the pharaoh.

Artist Bio

Tompkins Harrison Matteson

Born in May 9, 1813 in Peterboro, New York, Matteson was acclaimed to be one of the most noted painters in 1850 New York, he was best known for his political and historical paintings. Matteson first learned art from an incarcerated Indian that was charged for murder in his father's jail. Now interested in art Matteson become and artist despite the lack of money and supplies and became a traveling artist. One day on the streets a man sent Matteson to New York City to see Colonel John Trumbull who later enrolled Matteson to the National Academy of Design. Once graduated Matteson become successful in his art career opening a studio and soon having disciples of his own. In his later years he spent his time giving back to the community and eventually died February 2,  1884 in Sherbune, New York.

History of Painting

The painting "The Last of the Race" was created a couple years later after "Manifest Destiny" became the mind set of Americans, created in 1847. The painting represented how Indian tribes were pushed out of their homes from the colonizing Americans.

Connection between the poem and the painting

In the poem “Ozymandius” it talks about an ancient land that was once glorious but has fallen to invasion or time. Same goes for “insert here” as it shows a group of Indians that may have prospered or lived a spectacular life but now their glory is gone and the people in the painting are the remnants of what they once were, just how it is in the poem. Both show how no matter how great something can be, no matter how much they prospered they will fall eventually and the higher they rise the harder the landing will become.

Comment Stream