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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.

Academic compromises
Hélène Ibata

Figure 4  Henry Fuseli, Sin Pursued by Death, 1794–​96. hell-​hounds, the Enquiry had quoted the ‘portrait of the king of terrors’:         The other Shape, If shape it might be called that shape had none Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb; Or substance might be called that shadow seemed, For each seemed either –​black it stood as Night, Fierce as ten Furies, terrible as Hell, And shook a dreadful dart: what seemed his head The likeness of a kingly crown had on.61 Burke had praised the ‘uncertainty of strokes and colouring’ of Milton’s portrayal of Death, and

in The challenge of the sublime
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David Annwn Jones

spans (1434–1790) from Jan Van Eyck to Henry Fuseli (1819–2008) from Goya to H. R. Giger, moving on to consider Clovis Trouille’s works influenced by horror films and Vincent Castiglia’s paintings in blood. I then cover Gothic engravings, motifs of spectral portraits, posters and signs. My book’s title engages with the Biblical injunction against the making of ‘graven images’, and the creation of

in Gothic effigy
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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Hélène Ibata

’s Gallery of Poets (1788–​97) and Henry Fuseli’s Milton Gallery (1799–​1800), all of which capitalised on the new literary interests, which were shared by a growing audience of non-​aristocratic spectators. It was also the time when illustrated literary editions began to be published on a large scale, to answer to the expectations of visual/​verbal interactions of this wider public. The flourishing of literary pictorial productions, however, was more a reflection of British visual artists’ new ambitions than a 1 2 THE CHALLENGE OF THE SUBLIME genuine cooperation

in The challenge of the sublime
Charles Bonnet and William Blake’s illustrations to Robert Blair’s The Grave (1808)
Sibylle Erle

Swiss philosopher Charles Bonnet (1720–93) (Luginbühl-Weber, 1994 : 114–48). Blake knew of Lavater because he engraved four plates for Essays on Physiognomy (1789–98) and read and annotated Aphorisms on Man (1788), which had been translated by Lavater’s classmate, Henry Fuseli. Identity, in physiognomical theory, is associated with

in The Gothic and death
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David Annwn Jones

drips with portable wealth and who will lay a curse on Lucy’s future. The sadistic debutantes and prostitutes shown in Henry Fuseli’s paintings are adorned with precious chokers and pendant earrings, his Queen Mab’s neck gleaming with lustrous pearls. The brows of Theodor Von Holst’s heroines are strung with glistening diadems, their waists encircled by beads of amber suspending precious

in Gothic effigy
William Roscoe, civic myths and the institutionalisation of urban culture
James Moore

’s close friend Henry Ince Blundell took the presidential chair. The society quickly moved to establish a series of lectures on anatomy and the theory of painting and encouraged the development of an academy formed by artist members of the society.26 The society’s most remarkable achievement was, however, the organisation of two major exhibitions. The first, in September 40 Lorenzo in Liverpool 1784, attracted major works from Henry Fuseli, Paul and Thomas Sandby and Joseph Wright of Derby. Wright’s contributions were particularly noteworthy and included the well

in High culture and tall chimneys
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Chris Bundock and Elizabeth Effinger

The [First] Book of Urizen strikingly resembles the tormenting imp or incubus in his friend Henry Fuseli's famous painting, The Nightmare (1781), a painting that Blake reworks again in Jerusalem on plate 37, where the figure of Jerusalem lies beneath a looming, bat-like Spectre (E 33). 42 Blake's 1795 colour print of The Night of Enitharmon's Joy (plate 3, see Figure 2 ), formerly called ‘Hecate’ is, as Robert Essick notes, ‘as

in William Blake's Gothic imagination
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David Annwn Jones

(where ‘Gothic’ is used in its later post-Walpolean sense), is Henry Fuseli’s The Nightmare (1782), where a demon squats atop the torso of the body of a sprawled woman dressed in white. The demon, as if disturbed by the viewer, turns his reddened eyes in askance to us, the observers. This is a monster that recurs in his art, for example in Cobweb (1785–86), which features the fairy avatar of sleep

in Gothic effigy