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sublime


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C18 aesthetic category associated with ideas of awe, intensity ruggedness, terror, and vastness emphasizing Man's relative insignificance in the face of Nature, arousing emotions, and stimulating the imagination. It was therefore distinct from the Beautiful and the Picturesque, and was of profound importance in relation to an appreciation of the grandeur and violence of natural phenomena. Its chief apologists were Edmund Burke (1729–97), with his A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1756), and Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), with his Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime (1764). In architecture the Sublime was associated with great size, overwhelming scale, the primitive (especially the unadorned Doric Order), and stereometrical purity (as in much Neo-Classicism, e.g. Boul-lée's work, and the visions of gaols by Piranesi).

Burke (1757);Chilvers, Osborne, & Farr (eds.) (1988);Jane Turner (1996)


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