Riveted by Romanticism


Nina Amstutz, co-curator of The Critique of Reason: Romantic Art, 1760–1860, spoke at length to the docents on Monday, Feb. 23. As the first major collaborative exhibition between the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, The Critique of Reason offers an unprecedented opportunity to bring together treasures of the Romantic art movement from the collections of both museums.

The exhibition comprises more than three hundred paintings, sculptures, medals, watercolors, drawings, prints, and photographs by such iconic artists as William Blake, Théodore Géricault, Francisco de Goya, and J. M. W. Turner. This broad range of objects challenges the traditional notion of the Romantic artist as a brooding genius given to introversion and fantasy. Instead, the exhibition’s eight thematic sections juxtapose arresting works of art that reveal the Romantics as attentive explorers of their natural and cultural worlds as well as deeply invested in exploring the mysterious, the cataclysmic, and the spiritual. The richness and range of Yale’s Romantic holdings are on display, presented afresh for a new generation of museumgoers.

Afterwards, Docents joined many of the Center’s staff at the Criterion Theater in New Haven to enjoy Mr. Turner, Mike Leigh’s recent film about J. M. W. Turner’s final twenty-five years. For more information about the film, click here.

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