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dc.contributor.advisorKroitor, Harry P.
dc.creatorHall, William Henry
dc.description.abstractThe diversity of ideas in Reynolds' Discourses led early critics to accuse Reynolds of inconsistency; recent critics have suggested a general uniformity in his esthetic theories, but failed to establish it. This study shows that Reynolds' ideas in the Discourses are consistent with his theory of the sublime. In the authoritarian tradition of his century, Reynolds hopes to fix or "ascertain" the principles of the sublime in painting. These general principles of art and literature are reflected in the standard of taste fixed in the uniformity of nature and sentiments among men. The "rules" are based on those uniform principles which lead to the sublime. The intent of Reynolds' proposed method of study in painting is to form a mind open to "all nature," from which ideal beauty is abstracted. The first period of study emphasizes the grammar of art: correct drawing and coloring. Nature must be copied exactly as- the student subjects, himself entirely to his masters. In the second period he is expected to study all art and literature and the sublime. The third level emancipates the student from all authority except reason. For Reynolds the appropriate esthetic response of a cultivated mind is necessary in the recognition of the sublime. That response must be pleasurable, but ultimately must appeal to the higher faculties of the mind. Throughout the Discourses Reynolds assumes a hierarchy of genre based on esthetic response. The most sublime genre is history painting -- the illustration of great epic subjects; subordinate genres are judged in relation to it. Reason must judge but art and literature must appeal to the imagination; their roles are essential in the creation and recognition of the sublime. Reynolds' concept of imagination is all the collective sensory experience of the mind. Reason is its offspring, and "right" when it reflects that uniformity which runs throughout nature and the mind of man. This intuitive, whole judgment is "sound reason," superior to the partial, theorizing kind. Reynolds defines taste as a knowledge of the uniformity of sentiments among men and the general uniformity in nature; the result is an idea of perfect beauty. The mental and mechanical power to produce art is genius. Invention is its power of representing a mental picture on canvas from materials stored in the mind. The mental picture of ideal beauty on canvas is sublime...en
dc.format.extent153 leavesen
dc.rightsThis thesis was part of a retrospective digitization project authorized by the Texas A&M University Libraries. Copyright remains vested with the author(s). It is the user's responsibility to secure permission from the copyright holder(s) for re-use of the work beyond the provision of Fair Use.en
dc.subject.classification1973 Dissertation H181
dc.titleAscertaining the sublime in Sir Joshua Reynolds' Discoursesen
dc.typeThesisen A&M Universityen of Philosophyen
dc.contributor.committeeMemberDavenport, Manuel M.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberLaverty, Carroll D.
dc.format.digitalOriginreformatted digitalen
dc.publisher.digitalTexas A&M University. Libraries

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