Originally Posted by Tamika
John Martin is an unparallelled master of the Sublime on canvas. Each one of his images veritably explodes with passion and emotion, whether it be his preferred subject of the terrifying Sublime or his rarer ventures into the breathtaking Beautiful.
Martin's works, as so wonderfully presented in this post, are perfect examples of the grandeur of the Romantic era -- an era where plus-size beauty was revered as the embodiment of the Beautiful, just as Martin's canvases revere the awe-inspiring power of the Sublime. By appreciating exhibitions such as this, we are keeping the spirit of Romanticism alive amidst the prosaicism of the modern world.
I agree with you, Tamika. You identify an essential quality that links the Sublime with the Beautiful, for all that they are antithentical and complementary. They are both expressions of maximalism
, which is a term that has come up on the forum throughout the year. They both represent an escape from the circumscribed, self-inflicted limitations of minimalism. Whether it's the opulence of the Beautiful (how fitting that its best expression is now called plus-size
beauty), or the awe-inspiring grandeur of the Sublime, both aesthetics represent an unleashing of passion, an unbinding of emotion, an unfettering of feeling, a venture into sensation so bold that it is overwhelming. And that experience of being thrillingly overwhelmed is the essence of Romanticism.