Tintern Abbey, J.M.W. Turner, 1795, British Museum
Mr. and Mrs. Andrews, Th. Gainsborough, 1750, National Gallery, UK
QuickTimeª and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.Hannibal Crossing the Alps, Turner, 1826, Tate Gallery
Wanderer Above the Mist, Caspar David Friedrich, 1818, Kunsthalle Hamburg
The Sublime• Man lost in nature -- smallness in immense nature• Nature transcends society and man• Nature connotes beauty and eternity• But also terror, awe, danger• World without God, society, convention• Eternity and freedom of nature
Nature as Innocent PowerTo see the world in a grain of sandAnd heaven in a wild flower,Hold Infinity in the palm of your handAnd eternity in an hour. --Blake, “Auguries of Innocence”
Nature as Violent Power The boat incident: Prelude Book II dipped my oars into the silent lake,And, as I rose upon the stroke, my boatWent heaving through the water like a swan;When, from behind that craggy steep till thenThe horizons bound, a huge peak, black and huge,As if with voluntary power instinctUpreared its head… --Prelude 1.374-400
Nature as Violent Power The power, which allAcknowledge when thus moved, which Nature thusTo bodily sense exhibits, is the expressResemblance of that glorious facultyThat higher minds bear with them as their own. --Prelude, 14.86-90
Echoes on Mt. SnowdonThere I beheld the emblem of a mindThat feeds upon infinity, that broodsOver the dark abyss, intent to hearIts voices issuing forth to silent lightIn one continuous stream; (14.70-74)…Thou from the firstWast present, and with mighty wings outspreadAnd mad’st it pregnant: What in me is darkIllumine, what is low raise and support (Paradise 1.19-23)
Echoes on Mt. SnowdonThere I beheld the emblem of a mindThat feeds upon infinity, that broodsOver the dark abyss, intent to hearIts voices issuing forth to silent lightIn one continuous stream; (1850 Prelude 14.70-74)The perfect image of a mighty mind,Of one that feeds upon infinity,That is exalted by an underpresence,The sense of God, or whatso’er is dimOr vast in its own being… (1805 Prelude 13.69-73)
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