Edmund Burke “Sublime on the Small Scale”

The Morgan Library & Museum

poster for Edmund Burke “Sublime on the Small Scale”
[Image: Gustaf Söderberg "The Grotto of Posillipo, Naples" (1820) Oil on paper, irregularly cut, mounted to Masonite, Thaw Collection, Jointly Owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Morgan Library & Museum, Gift of Eugene V. Thaw]
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Ends in 127 days

In 1757, the British statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke published A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, an aesthetic treatise that profoundly influenced artists across Europe well into the nineteenth century. Burke understood the Sublime as deriving from “whatever is fitted in any sort to excite the ideas of pain, and danger, that is to say, whatever is in any sort terrible…or operates in a manner analogous to terror.” He emphasized the powerful, even pleasurable, emotional response that could arise from the contemplation of such possibilities, particularly when considered from a place of safety.

Many artists turned to the natural world as their principal source of the Sublime, emphasizing its magnitude and power. While the Sublime is mostly associated with large-scale oil paintings intended to engulf and overwhelm viewers, artists frequently worked on a smaller scale to develop and experiment with their representations. They endeavored to render nature and its effects faithfully by sketching en plein air, particularly on their travels through dramatic landscapes. The oil sketches displayed here engage with a range of Sublime effects, from the impressive vastness of a mountain range and the thrill of rushing water to the terror of a raging storm.

Sublime on the Small Scale highlights works from the collection of oil sketches given jointly to the Morgan and the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Trustee Eugene V. Thaw.

Media

Schedule

from September 29, 2020 to September 12, 2021

Artist(s)

Edmund Burke

Website

http://www.morganlibrary.org/ (venue's website)

Fee

Admission: $22 Adults; $14 Seniors (65 and over); $13 Students. Free to children 12 and under.

Venue Hours

From 10:30 To 17:00
Free Fridays: 3 - 5 pm. Reservations are required.
Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Holidays

Access

Address: 225 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016
Phone: 212-685-0008 Fax: 212-481-3484

Corner of 36th St. Subway: 6 to 33rd Street or 4/5/6 and 7 to Grand Central

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