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 display together treasured works from both museums’ collections. The show comprises paintings, sculptures, medals, watercolors, drawings, prints, and photographs by such iconic artists as William Blake, Théodore Géricault, Francisco de Goya, and Joseph Mallord William Turner. The broad range of work selected 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 that reveal the Romantics as attentive explorers of their natural and cultural worlds. The Critique of Reason celebrates the richness and range of Yale’s Romantic holdings, presenting them afresh for a new generation of museumgoers.
Since seeing the film, Mr. Turner, last year, Romanticism has again been much on my mind, and wondering how much, if any impact it had upon the thought of the new United States and her political - intellectual classes.
The War for Independence has been profiled as a product of the Enlightenment, without considering that continental and British Romanticism might have had equal or even contradictory influence. For instance, see the successive religious waves of The Great Awakening, and their huge footprint in American history.