Friday, April 10, 2015

Review: Yale's ‘The Critique of Reason’ revisits what "Romanticsm" means

By Karen Rosenberg
A small sketch, “The Crucifixion” by Delacroix, with a deeply empathic Christ whose direct gaze is accentuated by a fiery halo.
CONNECTICUT---In the popular imagination, the Romantic artist is a dreamy, introverted type. Now “The Critique of Reason: Romantic Art, 1760-1860,” a sweeping, 300-piece survey of the movement at the Yale University Art Gallery here, is rethinking Romanticism and presenting a very different sort of figure: a critical, political artist. A fantasist, to be sure, but one with a kind of intellectual hangover from the Enlightenment (that hard-thinking era of reason and science, 1650s to the 1780s, that took its inspiration from Bacon, Descartes and Locke). The Romantics emerge as deliberate “critics of reason,” in the Kantian mold, rather than the impulsive rebels we know from, say, the recent film “Mr. Turner.”

Yale University Art Gallery:The Critique of Reason: Romantic Art, 1760-1860” (Ends July 26, 2015); 1111 Chapel Street, at York Street, New Haven; 203-432-0600,