On view at the Yale University Art Gallery | The Critique of Reason: Romantic Art, 1760–1860

Friday, March 6, 2015
Sunday, July 26, 2015

The first major collaborative exhibition between the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, The Critique of Reason offered an unprecedented opportunity to bring together treasures of the Romantic art movement from the collections of both museums. The exhibition comprised 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 challenged the traditional notion of the Romantic artist as a brooding genius given to introversion and fantasy. Instead, the exhibition’s eight thematic sections juxtaposed arresting works of art that revealed 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 were on display, presented afresh for a new generation of museumgoers.

The Critique of Reason: Romantic Art, 1760–1860 was co-organized by the Yale Center for British Art and the Yale University Art Gallery. It was curated by A. Cassandra Albinson, Curator of Paintings and Sculpture, and Nina Amstutz, former Postdoctoral Research Associate (from the Center); Elisabeth (Lisa) Hodermarsky, Sutphin Family Senior Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings, and Paola D’Agostino, Nina and Lee Griggs Assistant Curator of European Art (from the Gallery); and Izabel Gass, Graduate Research Assistant (from the Center and Gallery). The exhibition was made possible by the Art Gallery Exhibition and Publication Fund and the Robert Lehman, B.A. 1913, Endowment Fund, as well as by funds from the Yale Center for British Art Program Endowment, established by the Center’s founder, Paul Mellon (Yale College, 1929).

George Stubbs, A Lion Attacking a Horse (detail), 1762

Interactive Site

Visit The Critique of Reason: Romantic Art, 1760–1860 to view objects featured in the exhibition, discover a timeline of events, and listen to a series of podcasts.