The Art of Seeing –

Romanticism: Re-turning to the Imagination 

Thursday 30th May 2024

 7-8pm UK time via Zoom


“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is – Infinite
For man has closed himself up,
till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern”

William Blake



 This session will be recorded.

In this month’s Art of Seeing session, one work of Art from the period known as Romanticism will be our focus. During the mid 18th century in Europe there was a shift in ideas – from the orderly containment of Nature, and the creation of a Roman campagna in the land and homes of the wealthy – to seeing Nature’s beauty in its wildness and also through architectural ruins.  There was a return to the imagination as a valid mode of being, drawing together the visual expression of Nature and the emotional, intuitive and spiritual evocation of the human being to Nature’s unpredictability and beauty. 

Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of the Sublime and the Beautiful was hugely influential from 1756 and contributed to a new perception of things which stressed the primacy of psychology in artistic practice. A new validation was given to the emotions – a radical shift from the Augustan ideals of harmony and proportion. People looked ‘beyond’ to wilder terrain, mountains and unexplored lands. The change in the aesthetic perception of Nature coincided with the Agricultural Revolution which created the English landscape of today. By 1780s and 1790s increasing urbanisation, along with the ‘tidying up’ of the countryside due to the Agricultural Revolution, rendered that which had previously not been appealing, more and more appealing. 

Helping to guide us through our work of art will be the writings of Edmund Burke, William Blake and Wordsworth. 

This session offers a tripartite approach of theory, practice and reflection and you are encouraged to participate as much or as little as you like. The work of art will not be revealed until the evening, but it is an image which evokes a sense both of the human being’s place in Nature, and the human spirit drawn out into the reaches of Nature, mediated by the imagination.


For those who cannot attend live, there will be a recording available after the session has taken place. Simply book a ticket via the button below, and the recording link will be sent with the joining instructions. 

These sessions are £10 per person. Email me directly to book at or you can use the PayPal button below.