During a period in which scientific discovery made the mechanics of the world increasingly visible, artists from the late 18th and 19th centuries retreated into the fantasy of the invisible. Reflecting the 18th-century critic Johann Jakob Bodmer’s assertion that, ‘imagination outstrips all the world’s magicians’, Romantic and Symbolist artists viewed the human mind as being empowered with unfathomable forces defying scientific explanation and demanding expression.
The Symbolist artist Odilon Redon combined the influences of Rembrandt and the Romantic artists William Blake, Henry Fuseli, Francisco Goya and Eugène Delacroix to express an inner world immersed in the shadow of reason. In drawing together these artists’ mysterious and haunting artworks, this exhibition examines how Redon, the Romantics, and their circle of influence explored a world beyond the visible, creating realities that were subjectively felt rather than objectively seen.
- Curated by
- Emma Jameson
- Mezzanine level