The Sublime

‘Whatever is in any sort terrible or is conversant about terrible objects or operates in a manner analogous to terror, is a source of the sublime’. This terror, as defined by Edmund Burke in his 1757 essay A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, is what humans feel when faced with greatness beyond measurement. The power of a thunderstorm, a mountain range of inexpressible size, and of course, the existential epiphany of our spiritual insignificance in the vast sweep of the universe.

Read More

A Dream of Italy

Robert S. Duncanson, 1855

A Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mt. Rosalie

Albert Bierstadt, 1866

Cotopaxi

Frederic Edwin Church, 1862

Lake George Reflection

Georgia O'Keeffe, 1921-1922

Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California

Albert Bierstadt, 1865

Mount Corcoran

Albert Bierstadt, 1876-1877

The Voyage of Life: Childhood

Thomas Cole, 1842
More Themes in Art

The Nude in Art

Getting out the skin

Cities

Hustle and grind

Abstract Figures

Hinting at the human form

Obelisk uses cookies to measure site usage, helping us understand our readers' interests and improve the site. By continuing to browse this site you agree to the use of cookies. Learn more