Langue :
Jean JIMENEZ (Réalisation), Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès-campus Mirail (Production), SCPAM / Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès-campus Mirail (Publication), Hélène Pharabod-Ibata (Intervention)
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Tous droits réservés aux auteurs et à l'Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès.
Citer cette ressource :
Hélène Pharabod-Ibata. UT2J. (2015, 3 décembre). British Capricci: from the Picturesque to the Sublime / Hélène Ibata , in Fancy-Fantaisie-Capriccio: Diversions and Distractions in the Eighteenth Century. [Vidéo]. Canal-U. (Consultée le 1 mars 2024)

British Capricci: from the Picturesque to the Sublime / Hélène Ibata

Réalisation : 3 décembre 2015 - Mise en ligne : 3 décembre 2015
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British Capricci: from the Picturesque to the Sublime / Hélène Ibata, in colloque international organisé, sous la responsabilité scientifique de Muriel Adrien, Melissa Percival et Axel Hémery, par l’Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès et l’Université d’Exeter. Toulouse, Musée Paul-Dupuy, 3-4 décembre 2015.

British adaptations of the capriccio genre may be seen not only as a response to the contemporary British discourse on the sublime and the picturesque, but also asthe reflection of a significant shift in sensibility. While in the second half of the eighteenth century, a ‘picturesque’ approach prevailed, with ruins being used as pleasing -albeit melancholy- sources of reverie and association of ideas, a more tragic sense of history emerged at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and ruin painting became more frequently a vehicle of the sublime. In the works of Joseph Gandy, J.M.W. Turner and Charles Robert Cockerell, among others, ruins are dramatized, often emptied of human presence, and invested with the terrifying awareness of the transience of all things. In these dramatic capricci, architectural excess becomes overwhelming rather than exuberant, and vestiges are often “ruins of empires”, reminders of the ravages of time and of the vanity of all human achievements. I would like to explorethis evolution and show in particular how with artists seeking the sublime, the capriccio becomes an effective means to convey the tension between visual representation and what exceeds it, which is central to this aesthetic mode.


IBATA, Hélène (2015). Theories of the sublime and the matter of pictorial closure, in Thomas Constantinesco, Sophie Laniel Musitelli (dirs), Romanticism and the philosophical tradition, Presses Universitaires de Nancy, 247-261.

Musée des Augustins (2015). Ceci n'est pas un portrait. Figures de fantaisie de Murillo, Fragonard, Tiepolo..., Dossier de presse de l'exposition. Toulouse, Musée des Augustins, novembre 2015-mars 2016, 29 p. [En ligne :].

ASHFIELD, Andrew, DE BOLLA, Peter (dirs) (1996). The Sublime: A Reader in British Eighteenth-Century Aesthetic Theory. Cambridge University Press, 314 p.

WALPOLE, Horace (1786). Anecdotes of Painting in England: with some account of the principal artists and incidental notes on other arts;  collected by the late Mr. George Vertue. London, Printed for J. Dodsley, 4e édition. [En ligne :].

BECKFORD, William (1783). Dreams, Waking Thoughts and Incidents in a Series of Letters from Various Parts of Europe. [En ligne :].

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