“Caravaggio’s Taking of Christ: the Artist as Evangelist” Aurora, Winter 2010 --Although the fleeing figure on the extreme left of Caravaggio's Taking of Christ has been called the Apostle John, this identification has often been denied, questioned, or ignored. I demonstrate this figure can only be St. John, the beloved Apostle, and thus provides a dramatic contrast within the picture to the traitor Judas. Also and more important, when understood with the figure on the extreme right, the fleeing John is only spatially peripheral; the two figures, when taken together form a pair that offers insights both into Caravaggio's spirituality and into his ideas on the mission of the painter.
“The poet in the Poem: Blake’s Milton” Studies in Philology, Spring 2015 --William Blake inserts himself both in the text and the illustrations of his illuminated book Milton as he does in no other of his works. This essay examines these instances of self-inclusion and argues that they serve as self-corrections within the overt function of the poem as a correction of John Milton.
“Taking Dictation: Two Images in Blake’s Marriage of Heaven and Hell” Huntington Quarterly, Spring 201 --In this essay, I discuss two of the illuminations in William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: an interlinear scene on plate 5 and a half-page ill ustration on plate 10. I argue that these depict episodes of dic- tation, referring to Milton and his dutiful amanuenses. They point to Blake’s later treatment of Milton in the poem named for him.