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A guide to dark visibilities

Gothic as a genre has become more amorphous and difficult to contain. This book brings together for the first time many of the multifarious visual motifs and media associated with Gothic together with areas that have never received serious study or mention in this regard before. It draws attention to an array of dark artefacts such as Goth and Gothic jewellery, dolls, posters and food, which, though part of popular mass marketing, have often been marginalised and largely omitted from the mainstream of Gothic Studies publishing. The book moves from the earliest Gothic architecture to décor and visual aspects of theatrical design, masquerade and dance. It focuses on paintings in two historical spans from Jan Van Eyck to Henry Fuseli and from Goya to H. R. Giger to consider Clovis Trouille's works influenced by horror films and Vincent Castiglia's paintings in blood. Gothic engravings, motifs of spectral portraits, posters and signs are covered. The book then uses early visual devices like Eidophusikon and the long-lived entertainment of peepshows to introduce a discussion of projection technologies like magic lanterns and, subsequently, film and TV. Gothic photography from Daguerreotypes onwards; and Gothic font, scripts and calligraphy are then discussed. Finally, the book presents a survey of the development of newer Gothic media, such as video gaming, virtual reality (VR) games and survival horror apps.

From Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry to British Romantic art
Author: Hélène Ibata

The challenge of the sublime argues that the unprecedented visual inventiveness of the Romantic period in Britain could be seen as a response to theories of the sublime, more specifically to Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). While it is widely accepted that the Enquiry contributed to shaping the thematics of terror that became fashionable in British art from the 1770s, this book contends that its influence was of even greater consequence, paradoxically because of Burke’s conviction that the visual arts were incapable of conveying the sublime. His argument that the sublime was beyond the reach of painting, because of the mimetic nature of visual representation, directly or indirectly incited visual artists to explore not just new themes, but also new compositional strategies and even new or undeveloped pictorial and graphic media, such as the panorama, book illustrations and capricci. More significantly, it began to call into question mimetic representational models, causing artists to reflect about the presentation of the unpresentable and the inadequacy of their endeavours, and thus drawing attention to the process of artistic production itself, rather than the finished artwork. By revisiting the links between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and visual practices, The challenge of the sublime establishes new interdisciplinary connections which address researchers in the fields of art history, cultural studies and aesthetics.

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David Annwn Jones

the diorama craze to Gothic writing; and Ian Haywood, de Loutherbourg’s mechanical show, the Eidophusikon, to Gothic drama. Jeffery Sconce linked the development of electricity with uncanny fictions of disembodiment. David Kunzle has shown that Rodolphe Töpfler’s comic strips were steeped in Gothic themes. Indeed, if blue books and penny dreadfuls with their lurid engravings were Gothic, why not those

in Gothic effigy
Proscenium theatre and technologies of illusionism
Niharika Dinkar

striking painted backdrops and wings that served to create an effect of depth and distance on the stage. His associates included the painter and set designer Phillipe de Loutherbourg (1740–1812), who created spectacular special effects through lighting technologies for the stage and also pioneered the eidophusikon (1781), a miniature theatrical machine that, alongside technologies like the panorama (1787) and diorama (1822), is considered pre-­cinematic in its experimentation with technological illusionism.15 In 1768 Garrick facilitated the supply of several copies of

in Empires of light
Real sympathy, the imitation of suffering and the visual arts after Burke’s sublime
Aris Sarafianos

drawn to the shocking power of reality shows such as Philippe de Loutherbourg’s eidophusikon, as well as dioramas, panoramas and phantasmagorias of various sorts. This chapter suggests that Burke’s ‘painful’ sublime had already adumbrated the fastest and broadest route to this end, intertwining the profusion of particularity with prodigious excitements. To be sure, this turn to the sublime real was not simply a matter of choosing eye-popping subjects: it was above all a matter of qualities, styles, techniques and beholders. The period’s sensibility for hurtful figures

in The hurt(ful) body
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David Annwn Jones

4.1 Ghost machines: the Satanic Eidophusikon and peepshows Philip James de Loutherbourg presented the first Eidophusikon, a kind of framed miniature three-dimensional theatre display with mobile sets and props worked by rods and pulleys, in London in 1781. Effects were produced by the manipulation of light, smoke and tinted glass and gauze. The Gothic

in Gothic effigy
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David Annwn Jones

be argued that many of the attractions covered in other sections of this collection – cabinets of curiosity, the Eidophusikon, Phantasmagoria, waxworks, dioramas, panoramas, Marisa Carnesky’s Ghost Train (2009–14), etc. – would satisfy some of the modern definitions of ‘installation’. The older seventeenth-century sense of the English word refers to the act itself of installing, originally a

in Gothic effigy
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Hélène Ibata

inciting visual artists not just to demonstrate the emotive powers of their art, but to explore new, non-​ mimetic or non-​ finite visual paradigms. For this reason, as I intend to argue, the ambitions of British artists in the decades that followed the creation of the Royal Academy were not limited to ‘history painting’, or depictions of the uncanny, but also took the shape of intense experiments with visual form. These include the invention of dramatic media of visual immersion, including Philippe-​Jacques de Loutherbourg’s Eidophusikon and Robert Barker’s panorama

in The challenge of the sublime
Hélène Ibata

Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg’s Eidophusikon to Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, or from the panorama to the Great Exhibition.1 Several other studies since have emphasised the diversity of Romantic visual culture, and the emotional and perceptual intensification made possible by the multiplication of spectacles, prints, sketches, book illustrations and other supposedly minor arts. These developments have often been viewed as part of the major social and economic evolutions of the time, linked in particular to the industrial revolution and 147 148 Beyond the ‘narrow

in The challenge of the sublime
Jasmine Allen

Exposition Universelle in Paris, The Ecclesiologist criticised one of Ballantine & Allan’s allegorical stained glass windows for being ‘quite equal to a Regent Street transparency’, in an attempt to reduce its artistic significance and to identify it with more theatrical (and secular) forms of popular entertainment such as the Eidophusikon (invented 1781) and Diorama (1820).29 Such comparisons reveal an alternative historical trajectory to standard accounts of the stained glass revival, one in which the art of stained glass is closely connected to popular forms of visual

in Windows for the world