PJAS 11 Spring-2

Marek Wilczyński
The Americanization of the Sublime: Washington Allston and Thomas Cole as Theorists of Art
Polish Journal for American Studies, vol. 11 (Spring 2017), pp. 19-27

Abstract: The idea of the sublime, borrowed by the painter Washington Allston from Jousha Reynolds and – through S.T. Coleridge – possibly also from Kant, at the beginning of the nineteenth century in the United States still had mostly European connotations. Both as a theorist of art and a poet, Allston explicitly pledged his cultural allegiance to Great Britain. It was paradoxically Thomas Cole, a British-born immigrant, who was the first to associate a much less strictly defined concept of the sublime with the American landscape of the Catskills, thus initiating the discourse of the US cultural nationalism both in his diary and essays related to painting, and poetry.

Keywords: sublime, aesthetics, culture, nationalism, nature, landscape

DOI: 10.7311/PJAS.11/1/2017.02

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