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Romantic complications with the fragment

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Title:
Romantic complications with the fragment
Creator:
Patton, Whitnee Brooke ( author )
Place of Publication:
Denver, Colo.
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University of Colorado Denver
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English
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1 electronic file (81 pages) : ;

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Master's ( Master of humanities)
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University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Humanities

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Subjects / Keywords:
Romanticism -- England ( lcsh )
Romanticism -- Great Britain ( lcsh )
Romanticism ( fast )
England ( fast )
Great Britain ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Review:
This thesis examines the complicated ways in which the British Romantics looked at the fragment. From their care of material fragments (collected in the growing National Museum) to portrayals of the fragment within their own creative works, the Romantics used the fragment to express feelings of both loss and hope—seeing both ephemerality and the enduring quality of mankind in its symbolism.
Review:
Specifically, the thesis will look at how the Romantics responded to the collections of fragments in the National Museum (especially the Elgin Marbles) in comparison to how those in the Enlightenment felt about similar collections. It will also examine how these collections influenced artists and poets in the creation of their own works. By looking at the poetry of John Keats and Percy Shelley, as well as the paintings of Joseph William Mallord Turner and John Constable, specifically, a clear pattern emerges as to how the Romantics felt about history and how they used the fragment to explore Romantic themes like the imagination, personal expression, and the sublime.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
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System requirements: Adobe Reader.
Statement of Responsibility:
Whitnee Brooke Patton.

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University of Colorado Denver Collections
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Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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987265844 ( OCLC )
ocn987265844
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LD1193.L58 2016m P37 ( lcc )

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Full Text
ROMANTIC COMPLICATIONS WITH THE FRAGMENT
by
WHITNEE BROOKE PATTON B.A., Brigham Young University, 2011
A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Humanities Humanities Program
Fall 2016


ii
This thesis for the Master of Humanities degree by Whitnee Brooke Patton has been approved for the Humanities Program by
Margaret Woodhull, Chair Bradford Mudge Maria Buszek
December 17, 2016


Patton, Whitnee Brooke (MH, Humanities Program) Romantic Complications with the Fragment Thesis Directed by Professor Margaret Woodhull
ABSTRACT
This thesis examines the complicated ways in which the British Romantics looked at the fragment. From their care of material fragments (collected in the growing National Museum) to portrayals of the fragment within their own creative works, the Romantics used the fragment to express feelings of both loss and hopeseeing both ephemerality and the enduring quality of mankind in its symbolism.
Specifically, the thesis will look at how the Romantics responded to the collections of fragments in the National Museum (especially the Elgin Marbles) in comparison to how those in the Enlightenment felt about similar collections. It will also examine how these collections influenced artists and poets in the creation of their own works. By looking at the poetry of John Keats and Percy Shelley, as well as the paintings of Joseph William Mallord Turner and John Constable, specifically, a clear pattern emerges as to how the Romantics felt about history and how they used the fragment to explore Romantic themes like the imagination, personal expression, and the sublime.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I approve its publication.
Approved: Margaret Woodhull


IV
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION....................................................1
II. THEORETICAL APPROACH............................................7
Rethinking History..........................................7
The Role of Intertextuality...................................9
Evaluating My Lens...........................................15
III. LITERATURE REVIEW..............................................18
Introduction: The Fragment...................................18
The Museum...................................................20
Artistic Expressions.........................................22
IV. THE MATERIAL FRAGMENT: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONAL
MUSEUM AND A NATIONAL AESTHETIC TASTE..........................25
The National Museum..........................................26
The Elgin Marbles............................................34
National Aesthetic Taste.....................................38
V. ROMANTIC RUIN PAINTINGS AND FRAGMENT POETRY: COMPLICATIONS
INARTISTIC REPRODUCTIONS.......................................44


V
Classical Fragments.........................................47
British Fragments...........................................57
VI. CONCLUSION..................................................71
REFERENCES..........................................................72


1
CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION
Ruins evoke noble ideas in me. Everything is destroyed, everything perished, everything passed away.
Only the world remains. Only time endures.
How old the world is! 1 walk between two eternities.1
I walk between two eternities, epitomized Denis Diderots response to the ruin paintings of his contemporary, Hubert Robert. These images, mostly representing the conditions of eighteenth-century Rome, displayed the dilapidated and crumbling state of a once overbearing empire. One painting, The Old Bridge (1775, Fig. 1), depicting a fragmented and nearly ruined bridge in the countryside around Rome, became the chief interest in the series for Diderot, due to Roberts blending of the past and present within the scene. Robert presents modern Italian peasants casually walking upon or sitting underneath this ancient bridge, having few thoughts beyond the utilitarian. Women wash laundry in the river, while men lead animals across the bridge, presumably to another feeding pasture on the other side. But one man, in the right foreground of the painting, stood out for Diderot, due to his apparent understanding of the significance of this old bridge. This man, assumed to be a traveler by his dress and lack of immediate occupation, stands in deep contemplation, arms crossed, gazing at the beautiful, crumbling piece of Roman history. His pose suggests a loneliness and forlornness, almost as if he, alone, can appreciate the meaning of such a scene. He seems to realize that this is a past, already forgotten by most, that can only be recovered in fragments. Art historian Anne Betty Weinshenker notes that these ruins call to mind their
1 Diderot quoted by Sophie Thomas, Romanticism and Visuality: Fragments, History and Spectacle (New York: Routledge, 2008), 82.


2
former splendor and flourishing state, [but also] emphasize the passage of time between the past and present.2 Filled with such thoughts of loss and decay, the traveler, and we through him, cant help but be filled with a sense of loss and sadness concerning the irretrievable and unattainable nature of history.
Robert pulls from a common symbol, the fragment, in order to express these ideas.
Sophie Thomas explains this concept in her book on Romanticism and visuality: The
fragment is in these instances a visual motif, but one rich with imaginative implications.
Broken pieces of objects, artifacts, or of ruined buildings, are highly suggestive, but what
they suggest is largely a matter of imaginative reconstruction; metaphorically, such pieces
represent the inaccessibility of the past, its very pastness in time.3 With this recognition, this
sadness is transposed onto us, when we realize that no reproduction, in art or otherwise, can
truly capture all of historys character and nuances. All we have are the pieces left by time.
But this knowledge of an irretrievable past is not what evokes noble ideas for
Diderot: rather, it is his glimpse into two eternities that he sees in the fragmentthis is
where looking at images like Roberts gets complicated. Diderot explains,
The effect of the compositions, good or bad, is to leave you with a feeling of gentle melancholia. We let our eyes wander across the remains of a triumphal arch, a gate, a pyramid, a temple, a palace; and we reflect on ourselves; we anticipate the ravages of time; our imagination scatters the buildings we no longer inhabit on the ground. In an instant solitude and silence reigns over us. We remain alone, the last survivor of a forgotten nation. 4
2 Anne Betty Weinshenker, Diderots Use of the Ruin-Image, Diderot Studies 16
(1973): 315.
3 Sophie Thomas, Romanticism and Visuality: Fragments, History and Spectacle (New
York: Routledge, 2008), 21.
4 Gillian dArcy Wood quoting Diderot, The Shock and the Real: Romanticism and Visual
Culture 1760-1860 (New York: Palgrave, 2001), 126.


3
As one of those last survivors, Diderot saw within these ruin images not only the unretrievable past, but the unavoidable future. Time will affect all of us and everything we create will one day crumble and be forgotten in the same manner as this ancient Roman bridge. But the ceaseless change which accompanies the passage of time evoked more than melancholia for Diderot, it also presented the limitless future. These noble ideas of impermanence and age also reminded him of the heights to which men can walk. Roberts bridge has stood the test of time, and is still used (albeit unconsciously) by the modem laborer. So, in effect, these images truly do produce thoughts of two eternities and explain the draw for Diderot and his contemporaries to such images and ideas.
Figure 1 Hubert Robert, The Old Bridge, 1775
By the time the Romantics inherited these writings, views of the fragmented past and its manifestations (i.e., mins) had become even more complicated, as the Romantics had to reconcile these thoughts presented by Diderot and other Enlightenment thinkers with Romantic ideas and philosophies. This reconciliation proved difficult, because the Romantics


4
still considered classical antiquity an integral part of their identity, while simultaneously rejecting the idealism and empirical methods that usually accompanied a study of classicism. Instead, Romantics sought for a deeply personalized and emotional experience with the world, using what Samuel Coleridge called the whole soul.5 Coleridge explained that only a communion with the inner self or the soul could lead to truth: I know of no other way of giving the mind a love of the the Great and the Whole. Those who had been led to the same truths step by step through the constant testimony of their senses, seem to me to want a sense which I posses: they contemplate nothing but parts, and all parts are necessarily little.6 Coleridge recognized that a scientific understanding of the world could only take you so far.
If you were to seek a deeper truth you needed something more. So, in searching for this whole soul the Romantics replaced idealism with nature and empirical reasoning with the imagination.
Considering these changes, it becomes all the more intriguing to observe how the English Romantics viewed the past and how they dealt with classical memory. As mentioned before, the Romantics still associated part of their identity with classical Europe. They still travelled to Italy and saw the Apollo Belvedere. They still read the Iliad and circulated prints of classical buildings. Collections of antiquities from Greece and Rome spilled over in the the public realm and influenced (or helped create) a national aesthetic taste and built a National Museum. But the Romantics more imaginative and personalized interpretation of these antiquities, coupled with a broader exploration of history and memorybeyond that of Greece and Romewove a complicated narrative of how they read the fragment. Majorie
5 Samuel Coleridge, Letter from S. T. Coleridge to Thomas Poole, 16 October 1797, in
Romanticism ed. Duncan Wu (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 638.
6 Coleridge, ed. Wu, 638.


5
Levinson explains it best: To the neoclassical mind, the formal condition of the fragment was no more than that: the effect of a purely circumstantial intervention, devoid of critical implication.7 And while these fragments did play an inspirational role for earlier thinkers, like Diderot, most saw the fragment as a sorrowful reminder of the passage of time and the incompleteness of their understanding of history. The Romantics, on the other hand, saw the fragment as evocative of a greater meaning and symbolism, due to the fact that the imagination has to play a role in the mental reconstruction of the subject. As the mind fills in the gaps of the fragment, the observer does more than absorb form and content, they have a personal experience with that piece of history. By looking at the most common form of the fragment, the physical ruin, for instance, the viewer symbolically experiences the pastas she pictures the original structure, the present looking at its current, fragmented state, and the futureas they contemplate their own connection with history and impermanence. Thomas suggests that ruins are highly evocative forms of the fragment due to this open potentiality and timeless nature:8
...they suggest an absent whole, and indeed occupy an ambivalent space between the part and the past whole, whose presence they affirm and negate (affirm, paradoxically, by negation). In their present state of decay, ruins signify loss and absence; they are, moreover, a visible evocation of the invisible, the appearance of disappearance. And yet, to the extent that they are themselves preserved, they suggest perseverance: the possibility, at least, of endurance against the odds of time and history. Notions of hope, memorialization, and restoration all thus adhere to the ruin as an object of contemplation, however framed or constructed that object might be.9
7 Marjorie Levinson, The Romantic Fragment Poem (Chapel Hill: North Carolina UP,
1986), 33.
8 Thomas, 42-3.
9 Thomas, 42.


6
The Romantics connected with this paradox, where the fragment evoked a piece of the history, but existed outside of it. These pieces are highly suggestive but ultimately unattainable, due to the inaccessibility of the past.10 As I dive through multiple Romantic sources from both poets and painters in Great Britain, I aim to explore, in more detail, this narrative surrounding the Romantics and the fragment. Specifically, I will explore the how the Romantics reconciled their ideas of the fragment with those ideas and philosophies that came before them. I will also look at how these views manifested themselves in the English Romantics care of physical fragments (as they built up their National Museum) and their portrayal of fragments in artistic reproductions (like ruin images and fragment poetry).
10 Thomas, 21.


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CHAPTER II
THEORETICAL APPROACH Re-thinking History
Keith Jenkins, in his book Re-thinking History, begins his complicated approach to defining history with several examples of how the discipline has, up to this point, been viewed incorrectly. In one instance, he mentions a hypothetical student who is studying sixteenth-century England at an A level. This student uses as her only textbook and source of information Geoffrey Eltons England Under the Tudors. So naturally, this student, during her exam, [writes] in the shadow of Elton and ultimately receives an A in English history.11 But Jenkins wonders whether it would be more appropriate to say that this student has received an A in Geoffrey Elton? Through this example, Jenkins is, in effect, saying that history is perceived through the ideology of the historian and therefore, is ultimately unknowable.
But if we can never actually get a grasp on true history, then why study it at all?
Jenkins answers this troubling question with a comparison made by Haydon White as he
looked at two landscapes created by Constable and Cezanne:
We do not expect that Constable and Cezanne will have looked for the same thing in a given landscape, and when we confront their respective representations of a landscape, we don not expect to have to choose between them and determine which is the more correct one [...] when we view the work of an artist or [...] a scientist [or historian] we do not ask if he sees what we would see in the same general held, but whether or not he has introduced into his representation of it anything that could be considered false information for anyone who is capable of understanding the system of notation used.
If applied to historical writing, the methodological and stylistic cosmopolitanism which this conception [...] promotes would force historians to abandon any attempt to portray one particular portion of life right side up and in true perspective [...] and to recognize that there is no such thing as a single correct
11 Keith Jenkins, Re-thinking History (London and New York: Routledge, 1991), 9.


8
view. This would allow us to entertain seriously those creative distortions offered by minds capable of looking at the past with the same seriousness as ourselves but with different [...] orientations. Then we should no longer naively expect that statements about a given epoch or complex of events in the past correspond to some preexistent body of raw facts. For we should recognize that what constitutes the facts themselves is the problem that the historian [...] has tried to solve in the choice of the metaphor by which he orders his world, past, present and future.12
Approaching the study of history by looking at it as a certain perspective, allows the student
to free herself from the constraints of truth searching and see history as a series of stories
told (and not told) from various points of view, over time. With this approach, the questions
asked while studying history change from what happened and why to who is telling this
story and why? It also brings into focus the stories that are not being told. According to
Jenkins, there is no objective history, but nevertheless, the value that can be gained in
studying histories does not diminish with his approach. If anything, it expands the
knowledge of the learner by considering voices that have not previously been a part of the
historical canon.
As I began my research into the Romantic era, Ill admit, I was searching for what happened and why. I set out to discover the basic ideas of Romanticism and how they were presented in Romantic works. But the more I continued my studies, the more complicated my answers became. I finally realized that my simplistic approach to understanding history was not giving me the clear vision I had initially hoped for. It actually left me more confused as I read conflicting insights from various historians and first-person accounts. For instance, I entered my studies with the general assumption that the Romantics had rejected all of the philosophies given to them by the Enlightenment (such as the prominence of reason, idealism, and empiricism) and replaced it with the imagination and
12 Quoted in Jenkins, 68.


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emotional expression. While this is mostly true, I came to see that it was a simple assertion made about an incredibly complex and diverse time-period. I recognized that I was listening to only one story of history and that I needed to open myself up to more possibilities. With this re-thinking of my historical time period, I was able to make connections and see viewpoints that I had closed myself off to in my earlier theoretical approach. I began to see that the acceptance and rejection of both Enlightenment and Romantic philosophies were as unique as the individual Romantics themselves.
So, I accepted Jenkins premise that there was no such thing as a true or objective history, and consequently, appreciated the new perspectives that this different approach brought me. However, I still found myself overwhelmed as to how I was to make sense of all of the information I was gathering. How could I ever come to any conclusions about what I was learning, when there were so many different voices presenting different things? Then I realized that most of my texts spoke to one another. They reacted to each other. They influenced each other. There were many similarities between genres and mediums. So I turned to the theory of intertextuality to help me shape a discussion about Romanticism. I recognized that I would not be presenting the simple this is what happened and why, but through intertextuality, I could begin to notice patterns in Romantic works and shape my own study around those similarities.
The Role of Intertextuality
As scholar Joe Moran puts it in his book, Interdisciplinary, intertextuality references the notion that texts are formulated not through acts of individuality by original authors but through interaction and dialogue with other texts.13 No work exists in a vacuum. Each is
13 Joe Moran, Interdiscplinarity (New York: Routledge, 2010), 76.


10
influenced by and, in turn, influences other works around them. So, by viewing different texts from both literary and visual sources and by looking for similar signs and symbols to read these texts, I could finally see a clearer image developing in my understanding of the development of Romanticism.
Even from my introduction, my study begins with conversing texts. Diderots musings on the magnificence of ruins and the ephemerality of humanity begins with a conversation with a visual work by French painter, Hubert Robert, called The Old Bridge. As Diderot looked at this work, his own journals recount that he was struck by the solemnity of the man in the foreground of the painting. Diderot saw this man as one of the lone survivors able to recognize a lost time, and the philosopher felt a personal connection with this figure as he considered his own place within the scope history and the ultimate brevity of his personal existence. While other, later, art-historians saw this same figure as mundane and even comical (they saw the man as looking at the milkmaid across the river, instead of admiring the bridge itself), Diderots reading comes from his own interactions with the texts and viewpoints of his era.14
The most common associations with Diderot is one centered on the organization and the value of knowledge, where his Encyclopedia takes center stage. In effect, his work was attempt to take the fragmented knowledge of the world and put it together into one, more complete source of understanding. So, as I had begun my research with these initial assumptions about Diderot, I was doubly intrigued and confused by the writers emotional and almost poetic response to this image of a fragmented bridge outside of Rome. Again, I was reminded that history is more complex than I had previously understood, but I also came
14 The Old Bridge, The Collection: National Gallery of Art, www.nga.gov. accessed Nov
20, 2016.


11
to understand, that with the increased production of ruin images in the later half of the eighteenth century, came a different set of symbols and meanings that fit more with my understanding of Romanticism, than the Enlightenment. This led me to conclude that these ideas overlapped more than I had previously noticed.
Diderots more complicated response was the result of a combination of influences. He may have seen the shift from topographical approaches in landscapes (specifically in the ruin-image genre), to more mood based images, like those of Joseph Wright of Darby occurring in the late eighteenth century.15 There also began to be several poetic and literary responses to these ruin images (like the writings of Sir Walter Scott or William Blake, for instance) that associated ruins with the transitory nature of human possessions as well as the unstoppable triumph of ravishing time.16 Whether or not Diderot was aware of these particular examples is unknown, but the fact that this transition was happening across several mediums suggests a pattern that Diderot was undoubtedly exposed to, and in some fashion, influenced by. In effect, as he describes the openness and limitlessness of the fragment, he is actually showing the subtle shift in thought patterns, from an organized and reason-based approach, to a more Romantic understanding of the world. This is just one example that shows the usefulness of intertextuality in determining meaning.
These earlier texts allowed me to see the influence of both old and new thoughts upon the Romantics, but the theory of intertextuality also helped me understand where the Romantics departed from their predecessors and helped me see the specific patterns that were emerging; defining Romantic thought. For instance, this shift towards Romanticism can be
15 Hawes, 461-2.
16 Hawes, 466-7.


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clearly seen in the Romantics reaction to the collecting of the natural and ancient world for the build-up of the British Museum. Scientific and historical collection of artifacts was definitely not new to this time, but with the increased humanism and knowledge-seeking that accompanied the Enlightenment, these collections moved from private, upper-class homes into the public sphere. For the first time, the British Parliament was involved in the purchase of antiquities for the betterment of their nation.17 This objects were meant to serve as symbols of the British nations power and magnanimity towards those they governed. Furthermore, as they removed objects from their original context and reframed them with in the Museum space, the Museum took control of the objects meaning and therefore used these collections to what Hoock describes: control the meanings of antiquity and claim inheritance, in terms of social systems of governance, the accomplishments of a civilized society, or cultural excellence.18 So, in the collection of fragments (from natural and the classical world), the museum itself fragmented meaning to suit their own purposes. This again, highlights the importance of Jenkins approach to history. For what was meant to be a temple of knowledge for the betterment of the British people, was framed and fragmented by the historians presenting these objects. But even in my consideration of the development of the Museum and its imperialistic purposes, I have to admit that the democratization of knowledge, that the Museum represented to the British, was a positive step forward. But as Jenkins would ask, I would also need to be aware of who is framing this knowledge in order to get a deeper understanding of what these objects meant to those in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
17 Hoock, 215.
18 Hoock, 207.


13
I believe the Romantics were asking similar questions as they considered the
collective efforts of their National Museum. Again, relying of the ideas of intertextuality, I
can make some conclusions about their general feelings and responses by considering how
their works speak to each other about the role the Museum plays in the development of the
Romantic mindset. For instance, in Wordsworths Prelude, which I look at in greater detail in
a later section, is just one of these texts communicating about the fragmentation of the
Museum. For the poet, he is troubled by the artificial presentation of nature within the
carefully controlled setting of the Museum. Earlier in his Prelude, Wordsworth describes
Nature as a maternal and moralizing force, that ultimately molded his mind into what it is
today. He tells of one specific instance, when he was a child and had stolen a boat. As he
fixed his eyes upon the opposite shore, a dark peak came into view:
And growing still in stature the grim shape Towered up between me and the stars, and still,
For so it seemed, with purpose of its own And measured motion like a living thing,
Strode after me. With trembling oars I turned,
And through the silent water stole my way Back to the covert of the willow tree;
There in her mooring-place I left my bark,- -And through the meadows homeward went, in grave And serious mood;19
This looming peak prickled Wordsworths conscience and convinced him to return the boat.
In this story, Nature conjured his imagination, which Wordsworth interprets as a rebuke and the young, future-poet learns a lesson that is forever imprinted on his mind. Compare this reaction to the causal perusal of nature within the Museum. Words like, carelessly,
roving brief confusion, highlight this section of his work. He casually lists these natural objects without ceremony or description fishes, gems, birds, crocodiles, shells, with
19 Wordsworth, Prelude, Lines 377-390.


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as much passion as you would find in the articles of an Encyclopedia. Clearly, Wordsworth
sees the disconnect between the Museum and the natural world, and he is troubled by it.
This texts speaks with other major works created by the Romantics, as they seek to
separate the artificial world of man and science with the glory of nature and the imagination.
Mary Shelleys Frankenstein is one text that seems to communicate directly with
Wordsworth and his Prelude. Her character, Dr. Frankenstein gives up on the natural world,
in what many see as a fit of madness and pride, and as he does so, he loses a part of himself.
In one section, after creating his monster, he retreats again into the wilderness, horrified at
what he has done and who he has become. Only when he returns to nature, can he remember
who he used to be. Frankenstein exclaims:
A tingling long-lost sense of pleasure came across me on this journey. Some turn in the road, some new object suddenly received and recognized, reminded me of days gone by, and were associated with the light-hearted gaiety of boyhood. The very winds whispered in soothing accents, and maternal nature bade me weep no more.20
Clearly, Shelley picked up on the idea of a maternal or moralizing nature, as described in the earlier Prelude, and used her mother nature as a healing balm for her lost, and confused character. From these two texts, I can make some general conclusions about how the Romantics felt about nature, and in turn, how they felt about the decontextualization of the natural world within the museum.
Visual texts also have great communicative power when seeking to understand an era. In a later section, I mention Benjamin Haydon and Benjamin Wests reactions to the purchase of the Elgin Marbles at the turn of the nineteenth century. But, by looking at the actual sketches these two artists created when studying these antiquites, I can see visually the shifts
20 Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, 93.


15
in thought that were occurring in the artistic world alongside their literary contemporaries. Where Benjamin West represents the old way of looking at antiquities, Haydon shows in his sketches how this mode of thought is changing. Both artists recognize the removal of the Marbles from their original context, but their response to this removal is very telling. Wests response is to take what he sees and place it back into the grand mythology surrounding the ancient Greek world. His sketch reflects, not the actual Marbles themselves, but his own vision of Greek history. Haydon, on the other hand, takes great offense to this approach, for he sees the Marbles as an opportunity to study the fusion of ideal and naturalistic forms (that he feels these sculptures exemplify). His sketch is much more focused and detailed, and his goal is not to present history, but learn from classical forms.
This is one key departure I have noticed in my use of intertextual study. The Romantics recognize the fragmentation of history, but instead of trying to make sense of it, they focus on how these fragments affect them personally. Whether it be Haydon using the objects of Greece to develop his more naturalized form, or Wordsworth comparing the world of man with the world of Nature, the Romantics saw the collection of fragments as objects of inspiration more than traces of history. They did not disregard the historical connection, but it was not their primary goal.
Evaluating My Lens
By using the methods of intertextuality, I was able to overcome my initial overwhelming feelings and make some conclusions about the Romantics and their views of the world. But even as I did so, I realized that even though I was opening myself up to various stories of history, I still was looking at each work through my own personal lens of


16
comprehension. Throughout my education, I have been exposed to various points of view that have influenced and shaped my own view of reality.
For instance, in reading a letter from Percy Shelley to his friend Thomas Love Peacock on 1819,1 can see that Shelleys visit to Rome greatly excited him. To the poet, Rome was not an inanimate pile of stones piled upon stones, but a breathing place of beauty and genius.21 But even as I consider Shelleys words and what has shaped his view of Rome, I am reminded of Sigmund Freuds thought experiment about mentally reconstructing Rome in his Civilization and Its Discontents. I am also shaped by historian Stephen Cheekes analysis (for it is from his article that I found this letter). I am also influenced by the various history and art books I have read about Rome (which are presented through the lens of a historian with their own perspective and background). So, I realize, once again, the Jenkins was correct. I can never truly be unbiased when looking at the past. Just as Diderot noticed when he looked at Roberts painting, the past is gone. It cannot be reclaimed. All we have are the fragments that have survived. I can piece together what I can, to form some kind of picture, but I will never find Truth.
I have also noticed that my twenty-first century bias has presented itself in my writing. Just as the Museum framed its objects to promote a certain narrative, the way I presented my material was framed, to some extent, by my personal viewpoints. I noticed one specific instance when I am discussing the lengths to which Lord Elgin went to acquire the Parthenon Marbles. I made a statement about how he believed his was saving the Marbles from deterioration and vandalism, but by placing the word saving in quotes, I was indicating
21Stephen Cheeke, What So Many Have Told, Who Would Tell Again?: Romanticism and the Commonplaces of Rome. European Romantic Review 17 no. 5 (2006):
522.


17
to my reader that I was skeptical of this assertion. Being several layers, and several hundred years, removed from the incident, I cannot place twenty-first century judgements on nineteenth-century acts, but with two small dots of punctuation, I tainted my writing with my own personal bias.
I recognize, as Jenkins wrote in his book, that there is no perfect way of studying history. We will always be glancing through the tainted window of someone elses perception. Even first-hand accounts represent a particular point-of-view and a particular section of the population, but I do believe that studying history is still valuable. By searching through the various stories of the past, I can do what the Romantics tried to do with the fragment; reconstruct a narrative based on patterns and my own personal interpretations. While I will not be able to tell you what all Romantics believed and saw when they looked at the fragment, I can add to the historical conversation, started long before me, and hopefully have something meaningful to add.


18
CHAPTER III LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction: The Fragment
The study of the fragment is considered from two viewpoints in this paper: studies of classical fragments from ancient Greece and Rome and studies of British fragments. In order to understand how the Romantics differed from their predecessors in how they looked at the past, it is important to realize how these two views of antiquity overlap and influence one another. For instance, many, like Stephan Cheeke, in his essay on Rome and Romanticism, noticed that certain themes developed for the Romantics while looking at Rome. By the time Romantics started creating their own works, prints of architecture and collections of sculpture from the Greco-Roman world had been well established.22 As a result, Rome (and later Greece) became commonplace to 19th-century Brits. As such, certain themes that these fragments inspiredsuch as power, society, and the place of humanity within history were appropriated by British Romantics and used to explain and explore their own countrys history and place in the world.23 Along with these comparisons came a developing national identity that explores and uses its own fragments and histories in respect to these classical ones, to determine who they are and where they are headed as a nation.
One of the most important and well researched ideas concerning the fragment is the study of the ruin. Within these studies, a theory is developed about how the Romantics used the ruin to interact with the past and develop their national identity. One influential book, The
22 Gillian dArcy Wood, The Shock and the Real: Romanticism and Visual Culture
1760-1860 (New York: Palgrave, 2001), 132.
23 Stephen Cheeke, What So Many Have Told, Who Would Tell Again?: Romanticism
and the Commonplaces of Rome. European Romantic Review 17 no. 5 (2006):
521-541.


19
Shock and the Real: Romanticism and Visual Culture by Gillian Wood, mentions the spectacular nature of the ruin during the early nineteenth century. For her, the ruin (specifically the classical ruin) was stripped of meaning and decontextualized once it was placed in its British location (or in its reproduction) as a result of the classical frenzy of the 18th and 19th centuries.24 In other words, the ruin lost its original history and meaning and became nothing more than a spectacle or a stereotype of a historical moment. Take the Lepis Magna ruins that arrived from Libya in 1818, for instance. These ruins were physically removed from their original location and historical context and were refashioned by the architect of King George IV to become his own Temple of Augustus located in his private garden. Years of neglect and vandalism made the temple become somethings of a ruin of a ruin, where all that was left was the spectacle of antiquity and the artificial feeling of the Roman Empire.
Others, like Sophie Thomas, felt that the ruin was more defined by what was not seen, than by what was left of the structure. To her, ruins are highly evocative forms of the fragment, and they operate according to logic: they suggest an absent whole, and... occupy an ambivalent space between the part and the past whole.25 Her exploration included the haunting power of the fragment or ruin, where the whole haunts the fragment like the past haunts the present.26 This haunting feeling made it a small leap between the idea of the ruin and the idea of the sublime. Ruins, through their fragmented and unfinished nature, sparked the imagination in a way that Romantics could really appreciate. Thomas also
24 Wood, 123.
25 Sophie Thomas, Romanticism and Visuality: Fragments, History and Spectacle (New
York: Routledge, 2008), 42.
26 Thomas, 22.


20
mentions the power of the fragment poem, a technique mastered during Romanticism as
another expression of this haunted, unfinished, history. This idea was also explored by many
other scholars, as they sought to discover the connection between the physical ruins of
Britain and this literary tradition of fragment poetry.
Others see the Romantics love of the ruin, especially ruins within their own borders,
as symbolic of a growing national identity and the beginnings of British Nationalism.27 Anne
Janowitz, in her book on Englands ruins notes that the blending between nature and the ruins
had a powerful aesthetic and symbolic effect on the Brits:
Nature took on the project of the reclamation of the stones. The physical situation of cultural ruins within the countryside linked the rhetoric of ruin to that of the land. This turned out to be fortunate in the creation of British Nationalism: ... [as] ruins were admired as blending into the countryside, while [at the same time] the sense of country as rural terrain and country as a nation also began to melt one into the other.28
The research on the romantic interest in the fragment is varied, but there seems to be a lively conversation about the role of the ruin in the building up of a national and imperialistic identity as well as how these structures affected the Romantic mind.
The Museum
In exploring ideas surrounding the fragment, it is only natural to look at the development of the British National Museum, for it was the museum that actually housed and displayed such fragments, and ultimately had the power over their meaning through their presentations. One influential text that explores the phenomenon of the museum, specifically
27 Anthony Smith, The land and its people: reflections on artistic identifications in an age of nations and nationalism. Nations and Nationalism. 19, no. 1 (2013): 87-106. and Anne F. Janowitz, Englands Ruins: Poetic Purpose and the Romantic
Landscape, (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1990).
28 Janowitz, Englands Ruins, 3-4.


21
the British museum, is Holger Hoocks book, Empires of the Imagination: Politics, War, and the Arts in the British World, 1750-1850. Hoock dives into the collecting frenzy of antiquities in Western Europe, specifically focusing on the collections of Great Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. Hoock argues that these collections became a symbol of Britains cultural empire, both through the literal spoils of one nation taking culture from another through war and colonization, as well as Britains attempt to identify itself with an ancient past (particularly a Greek and Roman past) through their acquisitions. In effect, Britain believed that as they filled their national museum with international treasures, their nations cultural status and taste would increase correspondingly.29 Hoock also mentions that in the 18th century, the classics were disproportionately influential to those in power, for these classical themes represented an idealized image of republican Rome that English aristocrats referred to for their own model of government.30
Hoock also notes that the British Museum stressed that most of their large collections of antiquities came from the donations of private citizens (like those of Sir Hans Sloan or Lord Elgin), but he explains that Britains collection can only be seen with reference to the power and reach of the British military and imperial state and its considerable investment of material and human resources in archeological enterprise, thus proving that the government had as much to do with their collections as private donors.31
Along with this desire to appropriate the classical world (and appear magnanimous while doing so) the British museum also had authority over the meaning of their collections,
29 Holger Hoock, Empires of the Imagination .'Politics, War, and the Arts in the British
World, 1750-1850 (London: Profile Books LTD, 2010), 206-7.
30 Hoock, 215.
31 Hoock, 208.


22
due to the decontextualization of these pieces under the roof of the museum. Woods notices that within the museum space, viewers were forced to confront the actual physical expression of antiquity and, in turn, come to terms with their own idealization of Greek culture within the constraints of a state-institutionalized presentation. In this regard, the marbles lose some of their power and history as they are framed in their new environment.32
Finally, Eric Vidal concentrates his book, Poetic Exhibitions: Romantic Aesthetics and the Pleasure of the British Museum, on the visual spectacle of the museum. No longer just catering to the educated elite, the National Museum took on the role of speaking to everyone, and therefore presented its collections in visually spectacular ways. Vidal saw the developing National Museum as a site for personal reflection, longing, and pleasure open to all. He stresses the value of democratizing knowledge and how it helped shape the growing nation.
Artistic Expressions
Along with a look at the developing National Museum, many scholars wrote about how artists and poets recreated the fragment within their own creative works. One of the main ideas expressed is the Romantic struggle between Neoclassical Idealism and Empiricism and newer Romantic ideas of looking at the world. Again, Wood and Thomas focus on these ideas in their books; using works by Shelley and Byron to explore this conflict. Thomas ultimately comes to the conclusion that one of the ways the Romantics dealt with this struggle was through focusing on an experience with a fragment rather than seeing it as an imperfect specimen of a lost, idealized history: Historical specificity is, it seems, less important than a brush with historicity... ruins create the pleasurable illusion of an historical
32 Wood, 133.


23
encountera spectacle even of historicity while articulating the absence of an actual historical reference.33 So, works by Romantic poets and artists usually portrayed a symbolic tie to the past or expressed some deeper idea, not merely copied overused Greek and Roman forms.
Indeed, most scholars agree that the draw to ruins, for Romantics, lies in this intangible and unknowable aspect. This line of thought aligns nicely with the Romantics ideas concerning the sublime. A.C. Swanepoel and Matthew Breannan both do an excellent job explaining how the sublime manifests itself in Romantic works, looking particularly at works by Coleridge and Wordsworth. When looking at Coleridges Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, Swanepoel says,
As poet, he [Coleridge] would focus on the antithesis of the known, the perceptible and the visible and thereby create shadows of the imagination that would lure one to suspend ones disbelief to arrive at poetic faith. Coleridges contributions to Lyrical Ballads were to bring about a willing suspension of disbelief, not by drawing on the truth of nature, i.e. actuality, but rather by creating scenes that would procure imagination. The willing suspension of disbelief is thus an exercise whereby the imagination is sustained and prolonged -a state where anything interfering with the imagination is suspended in order to arrive at poetic faith. Poetic faithwill thus henceforth be used to refer to a state of engaged and prolonged imagination, a state where one cannot rely only on ones senses. It is a state that tolerates antitheses to arrive at a sense of the great and the whole. Poetic faith depends on an active imagination the type of imagination advocated by Kants successors. It is indeed necessary to look beyond the perceptible in order to contemplate the immensity and inscrutability of the universe.34
Both Swanepoel and Brennan agree that only in contemplation of this unknown can someone experience the sublime, for it comes when the comparing power of the mind is
33 Thomas, 61.
34 A.C. Swanepoel, Coleridges Transcendental Imagination: The Seascape beyond the
Senses in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Journal of Literary Studies 26, no. 1 (2010): 199-200.


24
suspended and is replaced by an overwhelming feeling or intense unity with the object under contemplation.35
It is clear that there has been varied and extensive research on the fragment, especially as seen by the Romantics. This thesis will hopefully add to the conversation as it explores the complexities with which the Romantics viewed, understood, and reproduced the fragment.
35 Wordsworth quoted by Eric Vidal, Poetic Exhibitions: Romantic Aesthetics and the Pleasure of the British Museum (London: Bucknell UP, 2001), 78.


25
CHAPTER IV
THE MATERIAL FRAGMENT: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM AND A NATIONAL AESTHETIC TASTE
Commenting on the craze commenting surrounding the collection of antiquities during the eighteenth century in Britain, Indian national Abu Taleb said, statues of stone and marble are held in high estimation approaching to idolatry. Once in my presence, in London, a figure which had lost its head, arms, and thighs, and of which, in short, nothing but the trunk remained, was sold for 40,000 rupees. It is really astonishing that people possessing knowledge and good sense [...] should be this tempted to throw away their money upon useless blocks.36Although it may seem ridiculous, this desire to acquire the physical fragments of history (especially classical history) became extremely important to both individual scholars and the national government of Britain.
The fragmented state of these works was troublesome, for it was a reminder of the passage of time, but ultimately these collectors were able to overlook these flaws, for classical fragments still represented the classical world no matter how crumbled that world had become. Historian William St. Clair described this phenomenon of collecting history, as a way of collecting or appropriating classical (particularly Greek) culture itself. This collective effort helped legitimize the claims that Britains cultural origins were in Greece, and solidified the image of London as the New Athens. 37 When speaking specifically about the push to collect pieces from Athens at the turn of the century, St. Clair notes,
36 Holger Hoock, Empires of the Imagination: Politics, War, and the Arts in the British
World, 1750-1850, (London: Profile Books LTD, 2010), 215-16.
37 Angela Esterhammer, Translating the Elgin Marbles: Byron, Hemans, Keats,
Wordsworth Circle, 40, 1 (2009): 30.


26
.. .the appropriation of the Parthenon is part of the appropriation of Hellenism as a whole, a process that began in the ancient Hellenistic and Greco-Roman worlds, was resumed in the Western European tradition during the Renaissance, made significant scholarly, historical, archeological, and scientific advances from the eighteenth century onwards, and is still continuing.38
The act of collecting Hellenism was certainly not new, but the Romantics approached their
collecting from a different mindset than their Enlightenment ancestors. This difference was
partially due to the complicated way in which they viewed the fragment and partially a result
of shifting attitudes about their nation and material culture itself. This chapter will explore
these changing attitudes and how it reflected the Romantics vision of the fragment,
especially in terms of the development of the British National Museum and the desire for a
more unified, national aesthetic taste.
The National Museum
When the British National Museum was first founded in 1753, it was meant to serve as a temple to empiricism. It began when Sir Hans Sloan, a naturalist, physician and avid collector, desired that his collection of curiosities made up of about 71,000 objects be preserved after his death. So in his will, he bequeathed the entire collection to King George II in return for £20,000 for his heirs.39 The collection was meticulously categorized, organized and put on display for all studious and curious persons who wished to see them.40 Thus, the first national museum was born.41 Among the original curiosities were various natural
38 William St. Clair, The Parthenon and the Elgin Marbles, Imperialism, Art and
Restitution, Draft of a conference paper, March 23, 2004.
39 History of the British Museum, The British Museum, www.britishmuseum.org
(accessed Sept 24, 2016).
40 History of the British Museum, The British Museum.
41 History of the British Museum, The British Museum.


27
specimens, manuscripts, books, and antiquities from various ancient sites such as Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Americas. These objects, and other objects added to the museum over time, had only been seen, up to this point, in private collections or in public prints and engravings. So, with the bequeathment came the first, real public access to such a collection, which the nation proudly celebrated and enjoyed.
After seeing the museums Catalogue of King Charles the Firsts Collection of Pictures when it was first presented to the public in 1757, for instance, British historian and politician, Horace Walpole wrote:
The Establishment of the British Museum seems a charter for incorporating the arts, a new era of virtu. It is to be hoped that collections that would straggle through auctions into obscurity, will now find a center! Who that should destine his collection to the British Museum, would not purchase curiosities with redoubled spirit and pleasure, whenever he reflected, that he was collecting for his country, and would have his name recorded as a benefactor to its arts and improvements? And where so fair a foundation is laid, if pictures and statues flow in to books and medals, and curiosities of every kind, may we not flatter ourselves, that a British Academy of arts will arise; at least that we shall not want great masters of our own, when models are prepared; and our artists can study Greece and Rome, Praxiteles and Raphael, without stirring from their own metropolis?42
Not only did Walpole realize that access to these works would have an effect on public taste and ultimately lead to a British Academy of the arts (which will be discussed in a later section), but he equates the buildup of the National Museum with the building of his country, and those who donate their collections to the public are seen as contributing to national improvement. This joining of the public and private within the museum mirrored the political changes within Britain during the eighteenth century. These changes, such as the democratization of knowledge that accompanied the enlightenment, suggested that all can
42 Eric Vidal, Poetic Exhibitions: Romantic Aesthetics and the Pleasure of the British Museum, (London, Bucknell UP: 2001), 39.


28
benefit from exposure to the natural and material arts (not just the educated elite). It is for this reason that the state felt obligated to purchase these collections, for they realized that as they built their National museum, they built their Nation.
These collections also highlighted Britains powerful position they held at this time, particularly through the accumulation of material remnants from Britains interests around the world (their colonies). By displaying these objects in a publicly owned space, the government was, in effect, taking ownership of the cultures themselves, and proving to their nation, and foreign visitors, of where they stood in relationship to these cultures. As Hoock describes it, National museums enshrined cultural authority, which in turn symbolized diplomatic influence, political prestige, and military power. Acquiring and displaying prize antiquities were becoming key to the cultural politics of major Western European nationstates.43 The museum became a space that represented a politically organized and socially institutionalized power [that] most avidly seeks to realize its desire to appear as beautiful, natural, and legitimate.44 In other words, as they achieve cultural authority through their collections, they also gain authority political authority as a nation.
Besides displaying influence, the eighteenth-century museum also demanded authority and attention in the way it organized and categorized their collections. As the cultural authority of the nation, the museum influenced how their visitors saw other cultures, merely by the way they presented their collections. This use of cultural influence manifested itself in several ways. First, the museum showed a clear preferential treatment of objects from the classical world (which were usually given larger and more accessible
43 Hoock, 208.
44 Gillian dArcy Wood, The Shock and the Real: Romanticism and Visual Culture
1760-1860 (New York: Palgrave, 2001), 131.


29
rooms)45 in comparison to other regions. But this preferential treatment could also take into account that classical culture, which held a long standing place of importance for the elites of Britain, was also becoming popular among the common people where arrivals of major archeological collections in Bloomsbury made national news. Ancient civilizations increasingly captured the popular imagination. This popularity among the educated and uneducated alike was one of the reasons it was so easy to persuade Parliament to purchase these collections. Therefore, the special treatment of classical fragments reflected a state-sponsored expression of antiquarian consciousness.46
Second, the museum also showed a reliance on theories of empiricism to categorize objects suggesting that the path to truth and understanding, especially of the natural world, came only through rational means. Clearly drawing upon John Lockes Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), the museums layouts (particularly in terms of categorization) reflected Lockes ideas about the correlation between the sensory experience and cognitive reflection and therefore, presented their material in a way that allowed for rational reflection and understanding.47 But even as they sought to rationally categorize and organize their world, the actual visual presentation of these exhibits was chaotic and confusing. Objects were presented in haphazard, crowded displayseach section striving to steal attention from the nextmaking the museum both an example of scientific reasoning as well as a visual spectacle, relying on the visitor to make sense of it all.48
45 Wood, 123.
46 Wood, 122.
47 Vidal, 35.
48 Vidal, 81.


30
By the time Romanticism had taken hold in Britain, this blending of empiricism with
chaos had become the standard, leaving many Romantics feeling the effects of museum
fatigue. These Romantics differed from the previous generation by rejecting the carefully
categorized and rational world they inherited from the Enlightenment, and instead sought a
personalized and imaginative connection with the world around them. Theirs was a world
filled with mystery and emotional expression, where truth and understanding came from
internal exploration rather than the senses. So while the museum offered many valuable
experiences for the Romantics, its overall inherent, empirical rationalism would have felt
stale and unmoving. William Wordsworth writes in his autobiographical, epic poem, Prelude,
of a visit to the museum that expresses this feeling:
I gazed, roving as through a cabinet Or wide museum, thronged with fishes, gems,
Birds, crocodiles, shells, where little can be seen,
Well understood, or naturally endeared,
Yet still does every step bring something forth
That quickens, pleases, stings and here and there
A casual rarity is singled out
And had its brief perusal, then gives way
To others, all supplanted in their turn.
Meanwhile, amid this gaudy congress framed Of things by nature more unneighborly,
The head turns round, and cannot right itself;
And, though an aching and barren sense Of gay confusion still be uppermost,
With few wise longings and but little love,
Yet something to the memory sticks at last Whence profit may be drawn in times to come.49
Wordsworth recognizes the profit that is to be gained from the visual spectacle of the museum, but this profit comes from internal reflection, not from the visit itself. Only when he
49 William Wordsworth, The Prelude, ed. Johnathon Wordsworth, M. H. Abrams, and Stephen Gill (New York: Norton, 1979), 3.651-68.


31
recalls his visit using his imagination does it have meaning for him. He describes his experience as a wandering path from one object to the next, where little can be seen. This lack of sight can be a result of the chaotic nature of the displays, framed in gaudy congress that never allows him to focus on any one piece in particular. Or, he could be referring to the museums stale presentation, where these pieces of nature have been removed from their context and categorized with empirical precision. How can he truly appreciate fishes and gems when they are seen from the perspective of scientific rationalism, rather than within the sublime natural world from which they came?
Similar to Abu Talebs response to the culture collecting of classical antiquities, Wordsworth offers a Romantic cross-examination of the fragmented collection of nature within the British Museum. His poem categorically lists the various natural objects he sees: fishes, gems, birds, crocodiles etc. but even as he does this, he highlights the incomplete and inauthentic presentation of the Museum itself. The reader can recognize the mechanical method of description as a symbolic reference of the actual visual presentation of the natural world, and in turn, how Wordsworth felt about these displays. These displays were meant to represent nature, but in the very act of taking these objects out of the natural world and reassembling them inside the artificial, factory-like museum space, for the Romantics, natures true power is lost in the transfer. Wordsworth, who credits the natural world for his own intellectual and moral development in his Prelude, writes in a earlier section:
How strange, that all The terrors, pains, and early miseries,
Regrets, vexations, lassitudes interfused Within my mind, should eer have borne a part,
And that a needful part, in making up The calm existence that is mine when I Am worthy of myself! Praise to the end!
Thanks to the means which Nature deigned to employ;


32
Whether her fearless visitings, or those That came with soft alarm, like hurtless light Opening the peaceful clouds; or she would use Severer interventions, ministry More palpable, as best might suit her aim.50
To Wordsworth, only an authentic experience with the interventions of Nature herself, could have truly inspired and shaped the Romantic mind. The museum experience, on the other hand, has the power to turn heads, but ultimately creates only confusion and a longing for the authentic, natural world. To Wordsworth, this fragmented and manipulated version of nature offers nothing but a constant battle between insufficiency and anticipation. While he does not lament the fragmented objects themselves, the experience of the museum, for him, is a fragmented one, as it is always reaching but never communicating totality.51 In other words, the museums desire to rationally control the presentation of nature, for the Romantics, ultimately fragments nature itself. The museum becomes more concerned with the collection of knowledge, rather than seeking a deeper understanding of its collections. Thus, to the Romantics, the museum left its visitors with a feeling of fatigue.
But even with this fatigue and the limiting nature of the museum space, the actual fragments housed within the walls of the public museum were very influential and meaningful to Romantic poets and painters. These objects offered them more than a presentation of ancient history, as it did for their predecessors; they inspired deep personal reflections on the passage of time as well as how they, as individuals, fit within the spectrum of history. The fragment, being partially whole and partially missing, became a source that both exposed and hid the mysteries of ancient cultures and, according to the Romantics,
50 William Wordsworth, The Prelude, Book First, Complete Poetical Works (1888),
www.bartleby.com, lines 344-351.
51 Vidal, 81.


33
could only be reconstructed within the imagination. For example, Keats expresses the
importance of these fragmented objects in his famous poem, Ode on a Grecian Urn. In the
poem, Keats speaks to his Urn as an object that both represents and is outside of history:
Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: 52
Keats addresses this object as a historian that cannot speak. The urn, by its very existence,
represents a piece of history and its figures, painted on its sides, tell a story, but this story can
only be reconstructed through the mind that is contemplating it. The urn cannot speak for
itself, only inspire the imagination of its viewers. Keats urn, in effect, becomes a symbol of
the Romantics relationship with fragmentation of history. These objects, collected and
organized for the museum space, were meant to serve as sign-posts, or symbols, of a previous
time. Through their study, they offered limitless possibilities of internal and external
discovery via the imagination, but as with the exploration of the fragment itself, these
insights were limited. They offered no more understanding of the objects true meaning,
than Keats imaginative and personalized discussion did with this urn. The knowledge gained
from these objects became nothing more than a refection of the mind contemplating them.
This again points to the frustrations that many Romantics had with fragmentation of the
museum. They recognized, just as Wordsworth saw in his wanderings, that these pieces of
history have been removed from its whole or original meaning. Any subsequent
reconstruction would be artificial and incomplete. Be that as it may, the Romantics still found
52 John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn, in Romanticism ed. Duncan Wu (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012)


34
importance in communing with these silent objects of the past. As Keats writes in the last
stanza of this poem:
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.53
Though the Romantics recognized their own limited understanding of history, they also
realized that these objects still had the power to tease us out of thought. They became more
than a representation of the past. They inspired the Romantics. One particular set of
fragments that was especially inspiring to the Romantic mind was the collection of the Elgin
Marbles.
The Elgin Marbles
In 1799, Thomas Bruce, Lord of Elgin, became the British ambassador to the Ottoman empire, and with his appointment saw an opportunity to bring Athens to his country.54 Athenian sculptures and monuments were already well-known by the British people, in the form of engravings, but Lord Elgin felt he could return with more substantial representations of ancient Greek culture. So, through a series of negotiations (and many believe, outright bribes), Lord Elgin was able to receive a firman from the Turkish government that allowed him to dig, and to take away pieces of stone with inscriptions or
53 Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn.
54 William, St. Clair, The Elgin Marbles: Questions of Stewardship and Accountability,
International Journal of Cultural Property, 2 (1999): 399.


35
figures.55 But in a move that many saw as exceeding the terms of this firman, Lord Elgin removed the pedimental statues and frieze from the Parthenon in Athens, among other major sculptures from the Acropolis.
Lord Elgin saw his operation as a way of saving these sculptures from the mismanagement of the Turks who, up to this time, allowed tourists and servicemen from many different countries to break off pieces from various ancient sites to take home with them. St. Clair points out that, eager to acquire even the smallest carved fragment as a souvenir, [the love of antiques] had created a lively market for broken-off pieces that the Ottoman soldiers of the fortress were able to supply. Elgins removals put a stop to the casual pillage and pilfering, that had done more damage in a few years than had occurred in the [previous] century [...] To that extent, [Elgin] was able to claim, with some justice, that he was performing an act of rescue.56 To this, Hoock adds, even the French, who envied Britains hold of the Elgin marbles, rejoiced that these masterpieces have been rescued from the barbarism of the Turks and preserved by an Enlightened connoisseur who will allow the public to enjoy them.57 Regardless of the motive and method, the acquisition of the marbles from the Parthenon caused a great stir within Britain.
There were some, like Lord Byron, who felt that the acquisition could be seen as nothing more than the spoils of war. He equated that, rather than seeing themselves as a New Athens, they fit closer with Imperial Rome and said that the purchase and display of the marbles was no different than the ancient Roman practice of seizing trophies and
55 St. Clair, The Elgin Marbles: Questions of Stewardship and Accountability, 400.
56 St. Clair, The Parthenon and the Elgin Marbles, 2.
57 Hoock, 240.


36
celebrating their arrival in the imperial capital with public triumphs.58 Even more disturbing to the British people, was the comparison between their collecting efforts and the contemporaneous looting of Rome by Napoleon.59 As an imperial nation that sought to promote the legitimate and rescuing narrative in their conquests, it was important that their material collections should be seen in that same light.60 So to be compared to a man many saw as a tyrant, and who broke all of the rules of a civilized nation, clearly ruffled some feathers.
Not only did those against Elgins collection argue about the manner of acquisition, but they also felt that once removed from their original context, these sculptures no longer held any meaning. As a writer in a European magazine wrote in 1821, As long as they [the marbles] remain on their soil, they are classically important; but the moment they cross the seas.. .they are converted into puppets mere objects of curiosity.. .all association must be spoiled when we behold it surrounded by the hum and bustle of a crowded city.61 This argument has some merit, for not only do these pieces lose meaning in their fragmented state, but they are also collected from their original context and framed as the subject of art, altogether forgetting their original meaning and purpose.62 Even their renaming as the Elgin Marbles erases their origins and repurposes them for the museums own needs.
Wood sees this process as a neutralization of other cultures, where acquiring,
58 Angela Esterhammer, Translating the Elgin Marbles: Byron, Hemans, Keats,
Wordsworth Circle, 40, 1 (2009): 29.
59 Esterhammer, 29-30.
60 St. Clair, The Parthenon and the Elgin Marbles, 2.
61 Quoted in Hoock, 235-6.
62 Thomas, 81.


37
institutionalizing, and finally renaming [the marbles, in this case] enabled their subsequent
enlistment as symbols of national identity.63 This, again, proves the cultural authority the
National Museum held within the community, as well as what many Romantics, such as
Byron, saw as an abuse of position and power over other cultures.
Others, especially those who were seeking to support this building of the national
identity, saw the purchase of the Elgin marbles as a triumph for the museum and the British
nation. In an excerpt from the Gentlemens Magazine, published in 1817, the writer expresses
his own joy in the acquisition as he describes the exhibit to his readers:
The publick will very shortly be gratified by free access to those famous Athenian Sculptures which were lately purchased for the Nation by the British ambassador to the porte. Two spacious rooms have been built for their exhibition on the ground floor of the British Museum, adjoining the Townley and Egyptian Galleries ...casts of Athenian statuary, the originals of which still adorn Athens and its vicinity: and in the other, originals from Athens, which will henceforward be properly called the Athenian Marbles and Sculptures. On the ground floor are disposed the several statues, as the Theseus, &c.; and at the height of six feet from the floor the Friezes; while a few feet higher are the Metopes. Nothing can be more striking, more interesting, and more affecting. We are struck with them as the remains of ages so renowned, and so long passed away! We are interested with them as performances of matchless beauty, and many of them the work of Ictinus, under the superintendence of Phidias! And we are affected at that revolution of empires which has occasioned their transportation from their native city to a country which, in the age of Pericles, was esteemed the most barbarous of all countries, even if its very existence was known. They are, however, a proud trophy, because their display in the British metropolis is the result of public taste; and also a pleasing one, because they are not the price of blood, shed in wanton or ambitious wars. United to the Townley and other collections, the suite of rooms exhibits the finest display of the art of sculpture to be found in the world, and they will always do honour to the metropolis, and to the parties concerned in assembling and purchasing them.64
This piece exemplifies all of the reasons why the British were excited to have public ownership of the Athenian sculptures. Not only did they renew Britains love and fascination
63 Wood, 131.
64 Vidal, 115-6.


38
for the Greek world, but it offered Hellenism to everyone, effectively leaving the scholarly archive and dilettantes cabinet to enter the social sphere as an object of popular visual wonder.65 In this way, the fragment in the form of the Elgin Marbles represented both the democratic and imperial accomplishments of the British nation. Seeing how both these competing truths might have resonated simultaneously in the mind of the Romantics again reiterates the complicated position they held when viewing the fragment.
National Aesthetic Taste
Coupled with the democratization of knowledge, the purchase of the Elgin marbles also was undertaken with a hope that it would shape a national aesthetic taste. Recalling neoclassical texts where Greek forms were the epitome of grace and beauty, many felt that the Marbles would inspire a similar taste within the British populace. This was one of the reasons why Elgin himself sought to recover Athens, for he felt contemporary artists could benefit from what he saw as the best period of classical art, that is of the fifth century B.C.66 It was also one of the main considerations of British Parliament, as they discussed purchasing the marbles for the state. Many in favor of the purchase argued that exposure to such beauty could not help but transmit their [Greek] genius onto the youth of England and maybe even awaken what Ennio Quirina Visconti hoped would be a new renaissance in British art. In a letter to Lord Elgin, Visconti exclaimed, If the classical statues of Italy were an inspiration to the Michelangelos and Raphaels of the sixteenth century will not the Elgin
65 Wood, 132.
66 St. Clair, The Parthenon and the Elgin Marbles, 1.


39
marbles inaugurate a few era for the progress of sculpture in England?67 But an English renaissance never arrived.
Though the Romantics were excited and moved by the collection, it did not, however, inspire a renewed reverence in the Greek ideal. This was partially due to the fact that the marbles presented Greece in a way the British were not used to seeing. These fragments were far more deteriorated than any literary account, print, or Roman collection, as well as presented a more natural, rather than idealized rendering of the human form than had been seen in Roman works.68 Some, who noticed this but still hoped for renewed idealism, offered a way around this issue, claiming that the fragments wouldnt necessarily represent perfection, elegance, purity, and grandeur of form but instead might link to a nostalgic recreation of ancient Greece.69 But most of the Romantics wouldnt be limited by nostalgia or constraint to a standard ideal. To them, the Marbles in their fragmented state, offered what Romantic critic William Hazlitt referred to as a freedom from these restraints.70 This freedom came from both an increased application of the imagination (to fill in the missing pieces) as well as the Marbles more naturalized presentation of the human form. Hazlitt, stating that the Marbles proved earlier concepts of idealism as wrong, said, The Elgin Marbles give a flat contradiction to this gratuitous separation of grandeur of design and exactness of detail as incompatible in works of art, and we conceive that, with their whole
67 Visconti quoted by Rochelle Gurstein, The Elgin Marbles, romanticism & the waning of
ideal beauty, Daedalus, 131, 4 (2002): 89.
68 Wood, 132.
69 Grant F. Scott, Beautiful Ruins: The Elgin Marbles Sonnet in Its Historical and
Generic Contexts. Keats-Shelley Journal 39 (1990): 130.
70 Gurstein, 95-6.


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ponderous weight crush it, it will be difficult to set this theory on its legs again.71 Hazlitt felt the increased Romantic feelings that one standard of beauty, clung to by earlier writers, was growing stale and saw the Marbles naturalistic forms as examples of how to break free from this classical idealism.
This idea of freedom is demonstrated in the writings of painter Benjamin Robert Haydon, who describes his interactions with American painter Benjamin West as they both considered the Marbles in 1809:
While I was drawing there [with the marbles], West came in, and seeing me, said with surprise, Hah, hah, Mr. Haydon, you are admitted, are you? I hope you and I can keep a secret. The very day after, he came down with large canvasses, and without at all entering into the principles of these divine things, hastily made compositions from Greek history, putting in the Theseus, the Ilyssus, and others of the figures, and restoring defective partsthat is, he did that which he could do easily, and which he did not need to learn how to do, and avoided doing that which he could only do with difficulty, and which he was in great need of learning how to do.72
There is no doubt that Haydon was inspired by Elgins collection, but he was equally shocked at Wests blatant disregard of what actually was before him. What Haydon saw was a naturalized presentation of the human form that he had never seen before, where even the back of the statue was meticulously carved to nature, not to fit some ideal.73 For West to simply restore the missing fragments in his usual, grand manner, to Haydon, not only showed a lack of creativity, but also missed the meaning that he had found in the fragments. He continues his account:
My early attempt to unite Nature with the ideal form of the antique was now proved correct by the perfection of that union in these faultless productions. The
71 Quoted in Gurstein, 95.
72 Quoted in Vidal, 123-4.
73 Gurstein, 90.


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advantage to me was immense. No other artist drew there at all for some months, and then only West came, but he did not draw the marbles, and study their hidden beauties. He merely made a set of rattling compositions, taking the attitudes as models for his own inventions. This was not doing what I had done. Investigating for their principles deeply and studiously. West derived little benefit from this method, while in every figure I drew the principle was imbibed and inhaled forever.74
This naturalistic and mysterious reading of the Elgin Marbles illustrates the creative power that the fragmented material history had upon the Romantic mind. While West strove to fill in the missing fragments with common ideals of antiquity, Haydon through the use of the imagination and inspiration, sought to blend the natural with the ideal, even the unknown, and thus, to his mind, created something entirely new. Through his blending efforts, his creations spoke to both the educated elite and the public, thereby creating a more democratic and accessible art.75The comparison between the two artists can be seen in the sketches they created as they looked at the Marbles (Figs. 2 & 3).
So, while the purchasers of the Elgin Marbles sought to inspire (and control) a developing national taste for the classical, the Romantics were inspired by the collection in other ways. For the first time, they were presented with antiquity that represented their world in a more naturalistic manner, and it was still beautiful and inspiring! Also, because of its fragmented state, the Romantics had more room to play with in their readings of these works. Ultimately, instead of elevating the countrys taste upwards, towards idealism the purchase of the Elgin marbles opened the country outwards, bringing in both the educated and the lay class into its sphere of influence with its more naturalistic style and room for personalized interpretations.
74 Vidal, 124.
75 Vidal, 136-7.


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Figure 2 Benjamin Robert Haydon, Head from horse from the Parthenon Pediment, 19th cent.
Figure 3 Benjamin West, Sketches of the Parthenon Metopes, 19th Cent.


43
The Museums efforts to collect and control material culture had a unique effect on the Romantics. While it did consolidate cultural authority and help build up a national identity, the museum also inadvertently subverted its own authority by giving knowledge and interpretation back to the people. Even in its rationally organized and idealized state, the Romantics were able to make the Museum, and its holdings, their ownvia the imagination. One of the main reasons why they were able to accomplish this, was due to the fragmented state of the objects within the walls of the museum. This fragmentation denoted a type of open potentiality or limitlessness, to which the Romantics could fill how they chose. In the next chapter, I will explore just how they filled those gaps in their own reproduction of fragments. But whether grappling with the actual material of the past, or reproducing it in artistic endeavors, it is clear that the Romantics had a complex relationship with fragment and by extension, a complex relationship with history.


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CHAPTER V
ROMANTIC RUIN PAINTINGS AND FRAGMENT POETRY: COMPLETIONS IN ARTISTIC REPRODUCTIONS
Eighteenth-century German philosopher Johann Winkelmann, while looking at a fragmented piece of antiquity, remarked, we too have, as it were, nothing but a shadowy outline left of the object of our wishes, but that very indistinctness awakens only a more earnest longing for what we have lost, and we study the copies of the originals more attentively than we should have some the originals themselves, if we had been in full possession of them.76 Winkelmann, expressing his sorrow at the fragmented state of the material remnants of classical antiquity, illustrates a common attitude towards history shared by many during the Enlightenment era. Theirs was a Hellenistic scholarship marked by distance and idealism, and the fragmented material reality of Greece and Rome was a cruel, yet unavoidable effect of time.77
The Romantics, on the other hand, full of ideas about personalized experience and emotional expression, approached the fragmented past not merely with regret, but also with excitement. Fragments, to them, offered a variety of interpretations and experiences that no intact structure could elicit. William Gilpin, one of the founding fathers of the concept of the Picturesque, remarked: Should we wish to give it [an elegant piece of Palladian architecture] picturesque beauty, we must use the mallet, instead of the chisel: we must beat down one half of it, deface the other, and throw the mutilated members around in heaps. In short, from a smooth building, we must turn it into a rough ruin. No painter, who had the choice of the two
76 Wood, 123.
77 Wood, 124-5.


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objects, would hesitate to choose.78 So to the Romantics, rather than merely offering limitations, the fragment became a site of variable personal expressionfrom sorrow to the sublimethat engaged the Romantic imagination, and opened up the thinker to its limitless possibilities.
Thats not say that Winkelmann's writings did not have an effect on Romantic artists
and poets. To the contrary: they too, just as was mentioned in the introduction and the
previous chapter, saw the value in studying classical culture. They inherited, to some extent,
what Romantic philosopher Friedrich Schiller described as a sentimental longing for
antiquity.79 This longing manifested itself in the form of a debilitating melancholy where
tourists recognized their own estrangement from history as they linger[ed] before the
monuments of ancient times.80 Shelley demonstrated this sentimentality for Rome in a
letter to his friend, Thomas Love Peacock in 1819, shortly after arriving in the ancient city:
And what shall I say to you of Rome? If I speak of the inanimate ruins, the rude stones piled upon stones, which are the sepulchers of the fame of those who once arrayed them with the beauty which has faded, will you not believe me insensible to the vital, the almost breathing creations of genius yet subsisting in their perfection? What has become you will ask of the Apollo the Gladiator the Venus of the Capitol? What of the Apollo of Belvedere, and Laocooni What of Rafael and Guido? These things are best spoken of when the mind has drunk in the spirit of their forms; and little indeed can I, who must devote no more than a few months to the contemplation of them, hope to know or to feel of their profound beauty.81
78 Thomas quoting Gilpin, 21.
79 Wood, 121.
80 Wood, 121.
81Stephen Cheeke, What So Many Have Told, Who Would Tell Again?: Romanticism and the Commonplaces of Rome. European Romantic Review 17 no. 5 (2006): 522.


46
In his elaborate description, Shelley shows his inheritance of Winkelmann and Schillers idealized Rome, both rejoicing in and lamenting the effect that the beautiful forms had upon him. But Shelley also demonstrates in this passage, the Romantic point of departure from idealized Enlightenment philosophies.
As Shelley anticipates the months he has to contemplate his surroundings, he is not simply glorifying Hellenistic culture above all else. Rather, he is expecting this brush with antiquity to facilitate a personal experience with a lost and forgotten time. Shelleys goal was not the physical and psychological distancing promoted by Winkelmann.82 He, instead, wanted a hands-on, personal and physical experience with antiquity.83 Yes, he recognized his separation from the past in which some of the beauty has faded, but he also recognized that even in its fragmented and crumbling state, the city breathes of its former genius and perfection. His inspiration comes from the fragmented state of Rome, rather than in spite of it. His response shows the complex relationship that the Romantics had with the fragment. They simultaneously accepted and rejected Enlightenment methods of understanding history, as they sought to reconcile earlier idealistic tendencies with the Romantic urge to personally experience and express their whole soul.84 This chapter will focus on how the Romantics dealt with the fragment within their own works, both visually and within literature, and how their complicated view of the past manifested itself within these works.
82 Wood, 124-5.
83 Wood, 122.
84 Cheeke quoting Shelley, 532.


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The Classical Ruin
During the eighteenth-century, at the height of the grand tour, visitors to Italy were
shocked at the naturalistic renderings of history by Italian Baroque artists. While looking at
Caravaggios Judith and Holofernes, for instance, Lady Miller wrote:
The picture is too well done; it struck me directly, that it must have been taken from life. The idea threw me into a trembling, and made me very sick; producing the same effects upon me, that perhaps I might have experienced from the presence of a real execution: the separation of the neck, the force she uses, the sprouting of blood from the divided arteries, and her countenance, whist she turns away her face from the dreadful work she is about, and which nevertheless expresses a fierceness and a sort of courage little befitting a woman... make it a picture quite improper for the inspection of those who have any degree of feeling.85
By the time Lady Miller was exposed to this work by Caravaggio in the late eighteenth century, the concept of the ideal form was firmly established. This ideal preferenced classical form over the more naturalistic renderings of later artists, pulling from Winkelmanns Reflections on the imitation of the Painting and Sculpture of the Greeks (1755) as its reference.86 Greece and Rome became the standard to which all later artists were compared, and rescued from what Frances Reynolds described in her Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Taste (1785) as the parochialism of localized preferences.87
Some of the defining characteristics of this classical ideal for those in the eighteenth century were preferences for monochromatic sculpture and an unbroken or a pure presentation of form. In regards to color, Winkelmann was unaware that Greek marble was actually very colorful, believing that the weather-beaten remnants of antiquity were as they
85 Chloe Chard, Nakedness and Tourism: Classical Sculpture and the Imaginative
Geography of the Grand Tour, Oxford Art Journal 18 no. 1 (1995): 17.
86 Chard, 15.
87 Chard, 20.


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always were. So his statement that, the essence of sculpture is pure form where White is the essence of purity, the essence of classicism,88 was actually an ignorant assumption that was adopted by many Neoclassicists as a portrayal of the ideal. Winkelmann also influenced artists when he noted that the form of real beauty, as exemplified by the works of the ancients, has no abrupt or broken parts. In other words, Enlightenment thinkers and artists had difficulties with the fragment, as seen in Winkelmanns lament mentioned earlier in this section.
The Romantics, who in many ways inherited this mode of looking at classical sculpture and ruins, took a more complicated approach to how they dealt with the fragmented, classical past. To them, these fragments offered more than a glimpse of a lost, idealized culture, but instead inspired reflection upon the two eternities that these remnants represented. In both visual and poetic works, Romantics express both a sorrow for the past, and a glimpse into the future. As Mark Sandy writes in his book on memory and mourning, Romanticisms fascination with the ruins of ancient civilizations [was] central to voicing a sense of mourning, loss, and grief... [but imaginative reconstruction of] these ruins enabled them to endure [their] own mortality amidst the wreck of time and history.89 So while the romantics still felt the longing for Greece and Rome that their predecessors desired, they also strove to move past idealized culture in favor of a more personalized and emotional connection to these fragments, especially when considering the use of the imagination in their reconstruction of the past.
88William St. Clair, The Parthenon and the Elgin Marbles, Imperialism, Art and Restitution, Draft of a conference paper, March 23, 2004, 9.
89 Mark Sandy, Romanticism, Memory, and Mourning. (Surrey: Ashgate, 2013), 7.


49
Consider an except from Childe Harolds Pilgrimage, written by Byron as he considered the ruins of Rome:
There is the moral of all human tales;
Tis but the same rehearsal of the past,
First Freedom, and then Glorywhen that fails, Wealth, vice, corruption, barbarism at last.
And History, with all her volumes vast,
Hath but one page ...90
These ruins, to Byron, do not breathe beauty as Shelley wrote, or represent the perfection that inspired Winkelmann, but instead remind him of the cyclical and destructive nature of mans history. But just as Byron rejects the idealism that inspired Winkelmann, he ultimately accepts the power that antiquity has upon the mind. In effect, he reanimates the past, via the imagination, in order to contemplate its effect on the present and the future. These fragments truly create a glimpse into Diderots ideas of eternity.
Shelley takes similar strides in his fragment poem, The Coliseum, where he, too, explores the effects that the ruins of antiquity have upon the present.91 As his characters wander the ancient ruins of the Colosseum, Shelley expresses a sight beyond the corruption and failures of the past and instead embraces the scenes broad and everlasting character of human strength and genius, that pledge of all that is to be admirable and lovely [in] ages yet to come.92 The Coliseum becomes an excellent example of the Romantics complications with the fragment, for the piece presents both an idealistic and personalized view of ancient Rome.
90 Lord George Byron, Childe Harolds Pilgrimage, Project Guttenberg (2004), 4:108.
91 Kevin Binheld, May They Be Divided Never: Ethics, History, and the Rhetorical
Imagination in Shelleys The Coliseum, Keats-Shelley Journal 46 (1997): 129.
92 Binheld quoting Shelley, 128-9.


50
The poem depicts two characters, a daughter and her blind father, entering the Colosseum during the feast of the Passover. As they sit in reverence, they are approached by a young, ghost-like figure in strange, but splendid dress. The figure asks the pair how they feel about the ruins, to which the blind man replies, I see nothing. The young man takes great offense, feeling that something should be felt when surrounded by such fantastic, ancient ruins, but soon repents when he realizes the old man is blind. The old man asks his daughter to describe their surroundings, which she does to the best of her ability, noting that much of what she sees is beyond description. Her father then gives a deeper and more imaginative explanation of the ruins, inspiring both his daughter and the young, ghostly stranger. The piece ends unresolved, as the young man proclaims the pair as worthy of his time and conversation.
From the first line of the piece, Shelley demonstrates the complications that arise when looking at the past. Setting the piece during the Passover reminds the characters, and us as the readers, of the temporal distance we have travelled from the ruins themselves. By referencing this passage of time, Shelley is reminding us that, in reality, ruins are an unreadable representation of antiquity and one through which we see and construct as a mirror to the present.93 Shelley is very aware of the unattainable nature of the past, lamented by Winkelmann and others, but instead of mourning the loss, Shelley offers another way to reconstruct and reanimate this ancient sitethrough the imagination.
Shelley expertly guides us through this reconstruction process using the blind father and his daughter as references. Once the pair realize they are in the Colosseum, the old man asks his daughter to describe what she sees. Her response is descriptive, yet formulaic, as she
93 Thomas, 80.


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relies on her senses to build up a visual scene for her father. As she describes the moss surrounding the arches, however, Shelley displays the real power that ruins can have upon the mind.
What else see you?...
Only the bright-green mossy ground, speckled by tufts of dewy clover-grass that run into the interstices of the shattered arches, and round the isolated pinnacles of the ruin.
Like the lawny dells of soft short grass which wind among the pine forests and precipices in the Alps of Savoy?
Indeed, father, your eye has a vision more serene than mine.
And the great wrecked arches, the shattered masses of precipitous ruins,
overgrown with the younglings of the forest, and more like chasms rent by an earthquake among the mountains, than like the vestige of what was human workmanshipwhat are they?
Things awe-inspiring and wonderfid.
Are they not caverns such as the untamed elephant might choose, and the Indian wilderness, wherein to hide her cubs; such as, were the sea to overflow the earth, the mightiest monsters of the deep would change into their spacious chambers? 94
By contrasting the two characters respective vision of the space, Shelley offers a way to deal with the shattered, unapproachable past. While the daughters descriptions are clear and concise, she relies on her senses and can only see a limited view of the ruins around her. Her father, on the other hand, sees nothing but understands much and is able to make the ruins of the Colosseum come alive again with his imaginative possibilities.95
Shelleys two characters also become figurative stand-ins for his own development of thought concerning knowledge and truth. As a follower of Locke and the ideas of empiricism, early in his career Shelley had a clear understanding of how valuable the senses,
94 Percy Shelley, The Coliseum, The Prose Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley ed. Richard Shepherd, vol 1 (London: Chatto and Windus, 1906), 397.
95 Binheld, 132.


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primarily sight, were when seeking to have an authentic experience in the search for truth.96 But he also came to recognize that sight and language can fall short when faced with things beyond expression by empirical means, and therefore realized that he must turn inward for a deeper understanding. Anne Janowitz notes that throughout Shelleys poetry there is a tension between a desire to express an underlying and latent truth, that truth seen through the visible world, as well as a sense of the inadequacy of any language to make the expression reducible to a written formulation.97 This tension between the visible/empirical, and the invisible/inexpressible is perfectly represented in the character of the daughter. At one point she remarks,I was on the point of inquiring the way to that building, when we entered this circle of ruins, and, until the stranger accosted us, I remained silent, subdued by the greatness of what I see.98 Here is a character, obviously eloquent in her language of description, but even she has moments where this language is not enough to truly see what is surrounding her.
Her father, on the other hand, is able to pull out references of Indian elephants and monsters of the deep that suggest some previous sensory knowledge, but ultimately express the true sight of the imagination. The old man, in effect, takes the place of the poet, to call forth images that cannot be seen or expressed via the senses.99 He, as Coleridge would say, brings the whole soul of man into activity via his use of the imaginationable
"Angela Leighton, Shelley and the Sublime: An Interpretation of the Major Poems, (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1984), 1.
97 Anne Janowitz, Shelleys Monument to Ozymandias. Philological Quarterly 63 no. 4
(Fall 1 1984): 484.
98 Shelley, 396.
99 Thomas, 73.


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to see beyond the limits of his daughter or even time and into the future.100 In more general terms Janowitz explains, the poet finds meaning amidst ruins by an intuition that makes coherent the remnants of a formally coherent world. The thrilling secrets which flash on the poets vacant mind, his receptive mind, cannot be named, but only alluded to.101 Shelley, through his characters, is able to mirror his own progression from limited empiricism to the poetic whole found in Romantic thought. As he does this, he is able to reanimate these ruins in a way that no empirical model could have ever done.
Moving beyond the setting and the characters, the form of the story itself is also telling of Shelleys overall read of ancient Rome. Calling his work, a fragment of a Romance again calls attention to the unknowable nature of history and reiterates this inexpressible idea he presented though his characters. Janowitz, when discussing the fragment poem, notes, The fragment, while positively open-ended, also bears the burden of incompletion and so is often linked to the inexpressibility problem.102 So while the fragment form offers limitless possibilities to the imagination for reconstruction, it also limits the expression of the poet himself. The poet (as represented in the old man) may be able to fill in the gaps of the story, but the rest of us are left to simply sit in silence unable to express our feelings when faced with these limitless possibilities.
It is clear that to both Byron and Shelley the classical ruin was more than merely a tie to a perfect time or a sample of an imagined ideal. Rather, the ruin inspired them due to its lack of perfection and open potentiality. In this way, Thomas asserts, ruins offer an obvious
100 Samuel Coleridge, Biographia Literaria in Romanticism ed Duncan Wu (Oxford: Wiley-
Blackwell, 2012), 714.
101 Janowitz, Shelleys Monument to Ozymandias, (485).
102 Janowitz, Englands Ruins, 7.


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site for mourning lost cultures, but also [...] offer a certain reflective distance from the past that can inform the construction of new ones they speak for a certain freedom from the past and constraints that its traditions impose upon the present.103 This open potentiality ignited the Romantic imagination. The viewer was invited to focus on what Grant F. Scott calls the patches of virtuosity which still remain, and imaginatively reconstruct the missing fragments (not, however, without retaining a sense of their incompleteness).104 The ambivalent and paradoxical connection of the part and the imagined whole would have spoken to the Romantic mind, and thus, Romantic poets and artists partially rejected the idealistic and distanced insights brought down to them via Winkelmann and other Enlightenment thinkers. However, considering the effects of classical sculpture upon the mind, the Romantics didnt reject the power of these works outright.
Take, for instance, John Keats' reaction to seeing the Elgin Marbles for the first time. In March of 1817, Benjamin Robert Haydon took the poet to the British museum to see the collection that, as documented in his encounter with Benjamin West above, inspired the painter in his own development of form and beauty. Keats was so overwhelmed by the eternal beauty of the Elgin marbles that he could not put into words his feelings. One friend described Keats reaction to the marbles as such: He went again and again to see the Elgin marbles... and would sit for an hour or more at a time beside them rapt in reverie. On one such occasion [a friend] came upon the young poet with eyes shining so brightly and face
103 Thomas, 52-3.
104 Grant F. Scott, Beautiful Ruins: The Elgin Marbles Sonnet in Its Historical and
Generic Contexts, Keats-Shelley Journal 39 (1990): 131.


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so lit up by some visionary rapture, that he stole quietly away. 105 Keats, later, was able to
write two sonnets that expressed his connection with these classical piecesone of which
was On Seeing the Elgin Marbles. This sonnet does not present a grand experience with
classical beauty or ideal forms. Instead, Keats focus was the personalized effects that the
pieces had upon his mind and imagination.106
Keats sonnet becomes the perfect example of the complicated views the Romantics
had with classical history. Within the poem, the poet vacillates between his sorrow and hope
as he considers the fact that all things must end. But he also recognizes that if these pieces
antiquity can survive, so can humanity. Keats begins:
My spirit is too weakmortality
Weighs on me like unwilling sleep And each imagined pinnacle and steep Of godlike hardship tells me I must die Like a sick eagle looking at the sky.107
Keats first reaction to these fragmented pieces of history is very similar to that of others before him. These ruins represent the endless flow of time that will eventually catch up with him. He is reminded of his own frailty, like a sick eagle, full of so much potential power, yet he is left to merely look at the sky and not act. The section emphasizes his own personal feelings, and by doing so, marks the differing response that Romantics had with antiquity in comparison to earlier art poems. This entire section makes no mention of the Marbles themselves, only what the marbles inspire him to reflect upon. Hence, Keats again
105 Matthew Gumpert, Keats' TO HAYDEN, WITH A SONNET WRITTEN ON
SEEING THE ELGIN MARBLES and ON SEEING THE ELGIN MARBLES, Explicator, 58, 1 (1999): 20.
106 Gumpert, 19.
107 John Keats, On Seeing the Elgin Marbles, in The Longman Anthology of Poetry ed.
Lynne McMahon and Averill Curdy (New York: Palgrave, 2006), lines 1-4.


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demonstrates the shift in Romanticism from an idealized celebration of Greek culture to the power of a personal experience. The poem continues:
Yet tis a luxury to weep
That I have not the cloudy winds to keep
Fresh for the opening of the mornings eye.
Such dim-conceived glories of the brain
Bring round the heart an indescribable feud;
So do these wonders a most dizzy pain,
That mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude108
This section shifts in tone, remarking that it is a luxury to weep or a luxury to recognize
our own mortality. Keats sees that maybe his eventual death is actually a blessing, for
because of his impending mortality, he is able to appreciate his life. This section also finally
brings into play the Marbles themselves, as he mentions this indescribable feud that
sculptures inspired within his heart and mind. Here again, there is no grand explanation of
ideal Greek forms; only the quiet personal exploration of the idea of death versus immortality
and a simple reverence for the Marbles grandeur and history. The sonnet clearly shows the
personal connection the Romantics had with classical works. Their appreciation stemmed
from more than the beautiful shapes and forms that can be seen, but into the inspiring power
that such pieces created within the mind and imagination.
Keats ends the poem by opening up his thoughts beyond his internal struggle and makes a larger statement about the passage of time. He says;
Wasting of old time with a billowy main
A suna shadow of a magnitude.109
These two lines again emphasize the Romantics complicated relationship with the past. Here the billowy main represents the unending nature of change, just as the sea is unchanging
108 Keats, On Seeing the Elgin Marbles, lines 5-12.
109 Keats, On Seeing the Elgin Marbles, lines 13-14.


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(as well as referencing the ships that brought the marbles to England) and wasted time recalls this idea of an incomplete knowledge of the past. But with the reference of the sun and shadow, Keats reminds us of the power of the unknown (specifically in regards to the past and future). There is something more powerful in play, when looking at these examples of Greek history, than even the Romantic imagination can comprehend. There is no doubt that classical history affected Romantic thinkers like Keats, but as Keats poem so elegantly displays theirs was a personalized and emotional connection, one that looked at the past as an exploration into the unknown and inspired visions of the future.
So, as we move on from the classical fragment, there is no doubt that the Romantics valued classical history. But, their view of the past was much more open and imaginative than the seemingly rigid and scientific minds of the enlightenment. The Romantics saw the classical fragment as a vehicle of exploration, that inspired reflections on the past as well as their own connections to the future. And whether these explorations led to a reflection of their own mortality, the cyclical nature of human history, or the power of the poets imagination, the Romantics, in their own works concerning the classics, clearly move beyond the idealism of Winckelmann and into the realm of limitless possibilities.
The British Ruin
As mentioned in the previous section, one of the reasons the concept of ideal form was so widely accepted during the Enlightenment was to prevent the terrible possibilities of localized taste.110 Again, the Romantics took a more complicated approach. Due to a developing sense of nationalism coupled with Romantic ideas surrounding a personal, authentic experience with history, many began to see the fragmented ruins within their own
110 Chard, 20.


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borders as equal in consideration to those of Greece and Rome. It is also important to note that travel was limited during this time, due to the Napoleonic wars and other skirmishes throughout Europe, and as such, many Brits decided to finish their education by exploring their own country. So, along with these shifting ideas and increased domestic travel, came a re-evaluation of the ruins (especially Gothic ruins) surrounding them everyday. This section will examine the Romantic shift towards the British fragment (in particular the ruin) as seen in Romantic works, specifically in reference to how these works show their veneration of nature, their more personalized and emotional renderings, and their response to the developing nationalism within Britain.
Although Keats saw grandeur and Shelley perfection within the ruins of classical
antiquity, there was also something very aesthetically pleasing about the British gothic ruins
for the Romantic imagination. J. H. Pott noted,
In the venerable state of the ruin, there is an awful romantic wildness in the Gothic remains, that moves the mind very powerfully. Compared to classical ruins, the Gothic pile...loses less of its property to the devastation of time. The ivied arch,...the shattered turret, will perhaps gather new charms, when detached from the whole... We deplore the ravage of time; but beholding the Gothic ruin, every idea of this kind is lost in the first impression, in the sentiments of awe and enthusiasm.111
So the Gothic ruin, in particular, spoke to the Romantic mind in a unique way, due to the visual symbolism the Romantics saw in nature swallowing up their own recognizable past. It was no secret that the Romantics loved and valued nature, esteeming it with a moralizing power over the mind. Coleridge mentioned in a letter to his friend George Dyer: It is melancholy to think that the best of us are liable to be shaped and colored by surrounding
111 Pott quoted by Louis Hawes, Constables Haleigh Castle and British Romantic Ruin Painting, The Art Bulletin 65, no. 3 (1983): 468-9.


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objects and a demonstrative proof that man was not made to live in great cities!.. .The pleasures which we receive from rural beauties are of little consequence compared with the moral effect of these pleasures. 112 This moralizing force enveloping their own ruins reminds the Romantics of the all-powerful quality of nature, where even their own history is swallowed up by it.
Many British ruin paintings represent this battle between nature and the creations of man. Consider one of Joseph William Mallord Turners early works, Cilgerran Castle (1798-99, Fig. 4), for instance. This painting was one of several oil and watercolor works produced from the artists travels to south Wales in 1798.113 He presents the ancient ruin with an air of mystery and danger, as the castle looms from behind the dark forest in the foreground. The trees seem to swallow the castle, and a lone figure, barely discernible from the foliage, walks with his back to us, emphasizing the overwhelming loneliness of the scene. With such a small representative of humanity (as seen in the figure), as well as the forest overwhelming mans creations, the viewer cant help but see the small place he or she holds in nature as well as time. In comparison to the permanence of nature, humanity's hold is small. So, to the Romantics, the fragmented ruin evoked simultaneously power of nature as well as the ephemerality of man.114 As Thomas puts it, Ruins implied an important moral lesson (humility) at the same time as they spoke for the restorative and ameliorative power of nature over human sin, and the subjection of all the worlds things to the cycle of death
112 Samuel Coleridge, Letter from S. T. Coleridge to George Dyer, 10 March 1795, in
Romanticism ed. Duncan Wu (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 619.
113 Gabrielle Crepaldi, Turner, (Munich: Prestel, 2011), 38.
114 Janowitz, Shelleys Monument to Ozymandias, 483.


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and birth, degeneration and regeneration.115These ruin images became symbolic references to the British Romantic ideas concerning nature as well as reminded them of their small place within the natural history of the earth.
Figure 4 Joseph William Mallord Turner, Cilgerran Castle, 1799-1800
The symbolic power of British ruin images also manifested a maturing love for the land itself, for as nature reclaim[ed] the stones of these ruins, it also reiterated the the physical situation of cultural ruins with the countryside.116 Thus, with this connection
115 Thomas, 64.
116 Anne F. Janowitz, Englands Ruins: Poetic Purpose and the Romantic Landscape
(Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1990), 3-4.


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between nature and the nations ruins came a strong link between the rhetoric of the ruin and that of the land itself. Janowitz notes that this turned out to be fortunate in the creation of British Nationalism: as assimilated into the later eighteenth-century aesthetic of the picturesque, ruins were admired as blending in to the countryside, while the sense of country as rural terrain and country as a nation also began to melt one into the other.117 Thus, with these associations between the land and the nation came a greater appreciation for the physical ruins residing in on that land. Whether castle or abbey, these structures evoked Britishness.118 In effect, the domestic ruin (and its imagery) became important to the British, due to more than just Romantic expressions of nature; it became a symbol that evoked a national antiquity to which all of Britain belonged.119
From another viewpoint, these British ruins dotting the landscape around the Romantics became physical traces of Britains past simultaneously reminding them of their national history as well as granting them a certain authority that comes with antiquity.120 In other words, as Janowitz asserts, these ruins served as the visible guarantor of the antiquity of the nation. Ruins became a physical manifestation of a history that accentuated the idea of our and my land. Anthony Smith describes the phenomenon of belonging or attachment as part of the ideology of modern nationalism itself, whose founding fathers, Rousseau and Herder, stressed the need to immerse themselves in nature, hence in natural communities like nations.121 So these ruins that dotted the landscape connected one village
117 Janowitz, Englands Ruins: Poetic Purpose and the Romantic Landscape, 3-4.
118 Janowitz, Englands Ruins: Poetic Purpose and the Romantic Landscape, 1.
119 Janowitz, Englands Ruins: Poetic Purpose and the Romantic Landscape, 1.
120 Janowitz, Englands Ruins: Poetic Purpose and the Romantic Landscape, 3.
121 Smith, 90.


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to next, promoting this unified nation or unified community to its citizens. And even more symbolically powerful to the Romantic sensibility, in Janowitzs analogy as ivy climbs up and claims the stonework, it also binds culture to nature, presenting the nation under the aspect of nature, and so suggesting nation permanence.122 When looked at from this perspective, ruin images simultaneously evoke both the longevity and fleeting qualities of the nation in their connection to naturea paradox that the imaginative and conscientious Romantics would have appreciated. For, as stated before, their relationship with history was complicated. But through the Romantic imagination, the Romantics could have appreciated both possibilities simultaneously, suggesting another way in which Diderots two eternities manifested itself within Romantic thought.
So as we have seen, the Romantics consideration of fragments beyond the classical as worthy of study was a result of a deepening appreciation for nature and a greater sense of nationalism, but the fragmented ruin also became a powerful medium for self-expression. Smith mentions that along with the new nationalist vision, the idea of authenticity was regarded not just as signaling what is mine, my own and nobody elses, or ours alone, but as that which is original, innate and pristine to us, stripped of all later accretions, and therefore true, genuine and real.123 So, accompanying the shift towards nationhood was a movement towards the authentic experience. One of the ways this authenticity manifested itself within painting was through a greater, more assertive use of self-expression. John Constables Hadleigh Castle Mouth of the ThamesMorning After a Stormy Night (1829,
122 Janowitz, Englands Ruins: Poetic Purpose and the Romantic Landscape, 54.
123 Smith, 90.


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Fig. 5) is an excellent example of a painter using the ruin image as a way of portraying his own emotions and feelings.
By the time Constable painted this work, ruin paintings were quite popular. But for at least the first three-quarters of his career, Constable showed little desire to paint the subject.124 The majority of his works to that point represented the beautiful Stour Valley, which he portrayed as peaceful and picturesque. So this work, presented to the academy in 1829, seemed to be a drastic break from his previous subject matter. Here, the ruined stronghold is prominently displayed, not set in an idyllic scene of nature but in a sloped, rocky, and dangerous terrain against the backdrop of a turbulent sky. The mood is overwhelmingly melancholy, where even the small character with his dog in the foreground walks by the ruin with his head hung low.
This shift in subject matter and mood is often associated by art historians and critics with the premature death of his young wife to consumption. Her death clearly affected the painter, as he was said to dress in mourning for the remainder of his life.125 He wrote in December of 1828, Hourly do I feel the loss of my dearly departed Angel... I shall never feel again as I have felt, the face of the world is totally changed to me.126 This change in mind and spirit is felt in the very emotional rendering of the ruin. His strokes seem agitated and his colors evoke a less-than-natural depiction of the land. To the normally empirically-minded Constable, these changes clearly represented an emotional shift within the painter. Whether it was his original intention or not, this fragmented ruin became a way to visually
124 Louis Hawes, Constables Haleigh Castle and British Romantic Ruin Painting, The
Art Bulletin 65, no. 3 (1983): 455.
125 Hawes, 456.
126 Hawes, 456.


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express his grief and inner turmoil. His powerful mode of expression leaves an impact on us as viewers, who feel the grief and melancholy by merely looking at the work, even without knowing beforehand of the painters personal struggles.
Figure 5 John Constable, Hadleigh Castle, The Mouth of the Thames, 1829
The fragmented ruin, as a subject, evoked these emotions merely by being fragmented. As Louis Hawes writes, both actual ruins and ruin landscapes had long aroused associations with the transience of human life and mans handiwork. As Chateaubriand wrote in 1802, one tends to sense a secret conformity between destroyed monuments and brevity of our existence. The silent, decayed remains of buildings that once thronged with life are reminders of the unstoppable triumph of ravishing time, however visually imposing some


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ruins remain.127 Constables presentation of the subject portrayed his own personal brush with the frailty of human life, but it also referenced the larger impact that these images had upon the British Romantic mind, as they sought for an authentic and emotional experience with the world.
Turner, too, is known for his expressive and emotional renderings, especially in his landscapes. Using a loose and painterly style, Turners scenes are filled with emotion and energy. To Ronald Paulson, Turners landscapes exemplified the change that occurred during Romanticism, ..from description to self-expression, from topography or emblematization toward landscapes of the mind. 128 German Romantic, Heinrich Fuseli, also mentioned these two types of landscape renderings as either the tame delineation of a spot a kind of map work or landscapes that express large general concepts such as height, depth, solitude, [which] strike, absorb, and bewilder, in their scenery.129 Just as in poetry, Turner relied on more than the senses to create his works. He tapped into flashes of the imagination, which manifested themselves in his diffusion of light and color, and like Shelleys old man, took the viewer into his experience of the worldcreating a deeply personalized and sublime connection.130 For instance, in comparing the usual techniques used by Turner and Constable, The Examiner (1819) felt that Constable does not give a sentiment, a soul to the exterior of Nature; he represents only her outward look, her
127 Hawes, 466-7.
128 Ronald Paulson, Literary Landscape, Turner and Constable (New Haven and London:
Yale UP, 1982), 9.
129 Pauslon quoting Fuseli, 47.
130 A.C. Swanepeol, Coleridges Transcendental Imagination: The Seascape beyond the
Senses in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Journal of Literary Studies 26, no.
1 (2010): 199-200.


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complexion and physical countenance. Put differently, much as Ruskin would later in the century, Turner and Wordsworth start with Natures outward look, but then dissolve it with a certain coloring of the imagination.131 This search for the sublime became a definitive marker of Turners work, especially his later work, as he explored the use of the imagination in painting.
Take for instance, two ruin paintings of the same scene by Turner, Norham Castle, Sunrise (1798, Fig. 6) and Norham Castle, Sunrise (1845, Fig, 7), painted nearly 50 years apart. These two works become an excellent case study of Turners evolution toward and presentation of this personalized sublime rendering. The earlier work, reflects the landscape as map work where everything, as Sir Thomas Reynolds would say, is carefully and distinctly expressed.132 Reminiscent of earlier Claudian landscapes, this scene is clearly open to view. The viewer is able to easily follow the line of the river back to the ruin itself, which sits in the distance overlooking the land below. The image seems straightforward and distinctively expresses what can be seen by the eye. Even in his later years, Turner realized the importance of a study of nature in creating a scene, and while his technique shifted over time, this foundation of sensory experience with nature never left truly him. In fact, after his death, his studio still held 19,000 sketches of natural scenes and classical perspectives.
But his notes on the old masters reveal that he felt that basic sensory expressions are not what a creative mind [is] impressed by,133 instead he sought an elevation of the mind
131 Quoted in Thomas, 119.
132 Matthew Brennan quoting Reynolds, Wordsworth, Turner, and the Romantic
Landscape A Study of the Traditions of the Picturesque and the Sublime
(Columbia, South Carolina: Camden House, 1987), 19.
133Lawerence Gowing, Turner: Imagination and Reality, (New York: The Museum of
Modem Art, 1966), 19.



rT^
Figure 6 Joseph William Mallord Turner, Norham Castle, Sunrise, 1798
Figure 7 Joseph William Mallord Turner, Norham Castle, Sunrise, 1845


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via the sublime.134 The sublime, although referenced before Romanticism took hold, became one of the Romantics key theoretical principles that guided them in their understanding of the world and influenced their creative output. Matthew Brennan defines the sublime as a moment when the flash of the Imagination...put[s] out the light of sense, which binds the mind to the phenomenal world, and then dissolves external reality into the invisible world of the sublime consciousness.135 These dissolving lights emanate from the imagination of the perceiving consciousness, which, in the sublime moment, feels itself infinitely diffused through its own inner prospect, an inexpressibly indeterminate vastness whose power seems divine.136 Put another way, it is the moment when the external senses are overwhelmed by the contemplation of an object or scene, leading to a moment of individual crisis, where the viewers sense of self (that is formed sensually) is dissolved into feelings of fear and indescribable awe.
But how could Turner possibly feel that he could create a sublime experience by using the a landscape? The landscape, after all, rarely elicited reactions of fear and awe. The Picturesque tradition that was popular until this time, created landscapes that were quaint and lovely not terrifying. But, as Matthew Brennan writes, quoting the artist, Turner understood what effects he needed to create to leave things to the imagination, to oppose the very fixed and indispensable rule...that everything shall be carefully and distinctly expressed. Sublimity...depends on obscurity, and Turners diffusing techniques helped create that
134 Andrew Wilton, Turner and the Sublime, (Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1980), 10.
135 Brennan, 117.
136 Brennan, 77.


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effect in his works.137 Turner shows these new painterly and diffused techniques in his painting of Norham Castle done five decades later, and at the height of the Romantic era.
This site and scene have been completely dissolved into light and colormore is left to the imagination than to the senses. The ruin simultaneously gains and loses form in the mists surrounding it, and as it does so, it becomes a looming presence of unknowability. We, as the viewers, can never truly grasp what we are seeing. The ruin finds meaning within this paradox. That is why it is such an excellent subject is manifesting the sublime. It is complete as well as incomplete. Limitless as well as whole. As Brennan writes, the [ruin] of consciousness no longer lies in external landscape; rather it now inheres in the minds own inner vastness an inarticulate, ungraspable image.138 Turners later Norham Castle served not as a record of external reality like his earlier work, but as a vehicle for conveying ideas such as the sublime and the inexpressible nature of the fragment.139
Turner and Constable both used the British fragment as a medium for self-expression. This idea, along with a growing British nationalism and veneration for nature, forced the Romantics to look beyond classical antiquity for expressions of how they viewed history. This complicated look at the fragment as a representation of history is presented in their works as both classical and national, expressible and inexpressible, reliant on the senses and the imagination, evoking both melancholy and joy, and is a window into the past as well as the future. As the Romantics seek to reconcile all of these contradictory feelings inspired by the fragment, they seem acknowledge that it is acceptable not to know all of the answers.
137 Brennan, 19.
138 Brennan, 21.
139 Brennan, 49.


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Like Keats sick eagle looking at the sky, there is a sort of peace that comes when you embrace the unknown. Just at the fragment itself can never truly be recovered, so do the Romantics feel about history. To them they are inspired by a just brush with historicity140 that allows them to have a personal encounter with two eternities.
140 Thomas, 61.


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CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION
As Shelley expressed the breathing power of Rome to his friend, the two sides of him pulled the writer in opposite directions. As he tried to reconcile these two sides, his former empirical mindset and his more imaginative (poetic) Romantic side, he ultimately felt that in order to drink in the power of what he was seeing he must accept both, and therefore, ultimately be left unsettled and unresolved. Similar to the effects of the fragment poem, the Romantics resolved their complications with the fragment by simply not resolving them. They were happy to leave their views open, expressing both limitlessness and the limited, both ephemerality and timelessness, both the past and the future. They even absorbed some of the empirical and idealistic tendencies of their Enlightenment forebears (see Wordsworths exploration of the museum and Haydons naturalistic, idealism) while simultaneously rejecting all that classical idealism represented. And though they never do seem to come to an agreement as to how to read the fragment, there are some tendencies that set the Romantics apart. For instance, they generally sought a deeply personal and emotional connection with history over a distanced and exclusively idealized relationship. They also saw beauty in fragments from places beyond the Greek and Roman world, especially in natures connection to their countrys Gothic ruins. And most importantly, they saw the critical importance of the imagination in reanimating the fragments of the past in order to understand them. The Romantics saw and felt the power of Diderots two eternities, but to them, they saw more than an irretrievable pastthey saw their own connection with time and how they fit in the world.


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Goslee, Nancy. Shelleys Visual Imagination. Cambridge, Cambridge UP: 2011.
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ROMANTIC COMPLICATIONS WITH THE FRAGMENT by WHITNEE BROOKE PATTON B.A., Brigham Young University, 2011 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado Denver in partial fulllment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Humanities Humanities Program Fall 2016

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! ii This thesis for the Master of Humanities degree by Whitnee Brooke Patton has been approved for the Humanities Program by Margaret Woodhull, Chair Bradford Mudge Maria Buszek December 17, 2016

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! iii Patton, Whitnee Brooke (MH, Humanities Program) Romantic Complications with the Fragment Thesis Directed by Professor Margaret Woodhull ABSTRACT This thesis examines the complicated ways in which the British Romantics looked at the fragment. From their care of material fragments (collected in the growing National Museum) to portrayals of the fragment within their own creative works, the Romantics used the fragment to express feelings of both loss and hopeseeing both ephemerality and the enduring quality of mankind in its symbolism. Specically, the thesis will look at how the Romantics responded to the collections of fragments in the National Museum (especially the Elgin Marbles) in comparison to how those in the Enlightenment felt about similar collections. It will also examine how these collections inuenced artists and poets in the creation of their own works. By looking at the poetry of John Keats and Percy Shelley, as well as the paintings of Joseph William Mallord Turner and John Constable, specically, a clear pattern emerges as to how the Romantics felt about history and how they used the fragment to explore Romantic themes like the imagination, personal expression, and the sublime. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I approve its publication. Approved: Margaret Woodhull

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! iv TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION.1 II. THEORETICAL APPROACH..7 "Rethinking History"..7 The Role of Intertextuality.....9 Evaluating My Lens.....15 III. LITERATURE REVIEW.18 Introduction: The Fragment.18 The Museum20 Artistic Expressions.....22 IV. THE MATERIAL FRAGMENT: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM AND A NATIONAL AESTHETIC TASTE...25 The National Museum.26 The Elgin Marbles...34 National Aesthetic Taste..38 V. ROMANTIC RUIN PAINTINGS AND FRAGMENT POETRY: COMPLICATIONS IN ARTISTIC REPRODUCTIONS.....44

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! v REFERENCES72 Classical Fragments47 British Fragments57 VI. CONCLUSION..71

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! 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Ruins evoke noble ideas in me. Everything is destroyed, everything perished, everything passed away. Only the world remains. Only time endures. How old the world is! I walk between two eternities. 1 "I walk between two eternities," epitomized Denis Diderot's response to the ruin paintings of his contemporary, Hubert Robert. These images, mostly representing the conditions of eighteenth-century Rome, displayed the dilapidated and crumbling state of a once overbearing empire. One painting, The Old Bridge (1775, Fig. 1), depicting a fragmented and nearly ruined bridge in the countryside around Rome, became the chief interest in the series for Diderot, due to Robert's blending of the past and present within the scene. Robert presents modern Italian peasants casually walking upon or sitting underneath this ancient bridge, having few thoughts beyond the utilitarian. Women wash laundry in the river, while men lead animals across the bridge, presumably to another feeding pasture on the other side. But one man, in the right foreground of the painting, stood out for Diderot, due to his apparent understanding of the signicance of this old bridge. This man, assumed to be a traveler by his dress and lack of immediate occupation, stands in deep contemplation, arms crossed, gazing at the beautiful, crumbling piece of Roman history. His pose suggests a loneliness and forlornness, almost as if he, alone, can appreciate the meaning of such a scene. He seems to realize that this is a past, already forgotten by most, that can only be recovered in fragments. Art historian Anne Betty Weinshenker notes that these ruins call "to mind their Diderot quoted by Sophie Thomas, Romanticism and Visuality: Fragments, History and 1 Spectacle (New York: Routledge, 2008) 82.

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! 2 former splendor and ourishing state, [but also] emphasize the passage of time between the past and present." Filled with such thoughts of loss and decay, the traveler, and we through 2 him, can't help but be lled with a sense of loss and sadness concerning the irretrievable and unattainable nature of history. Robert pulls from a common symbol, the fragment, in order to express these ideas. Sophie Thomas explains this concept in her book on Romanticism and visuality: "The fragment is in these instances a visual motif, but one rich with imaginative implications. Broken pieces of objects, artifacts, or of ruined buildings, are highly suggestive, but what they suggest is largely a matter of imaginative reconstruction; metaphorically, such pieces represent the inaccessibility of the past, its very pastness in time." With this recognition, this 3 sadness is transposed onto us, when we realize that no reproduction, in art or otherwise, can truly capture all of history's character and nuances. All we have are the pieces left by time. But this knowledge of an irretrievable past is not what "evokes noble ideas" for Diderot: rather, it is his glimpse into "two eternities" that he sees in the fragmentthis is where looking at images like Robert's gets complicated. Diderot explains, The effect of the compositions, good or bad, is to leave you with a feeling of gentle melancholia. We let our eyes wander across the remains of a triumphal arch, a gate, a pyramid, a temple, a palace; and we reect on ourselves; we anticipate the ravages of time; our imagination scatters the buildings we no longer inhabit on the ground. In an instant solitude and silence reigns over us. We remain alone, the last survivor of a forgotten nation. 4 Anne Betty Weinshenker, "Diderot's Use of the Ruin-Image," Diderot Studies 16 2 (1973): 315. Sophie Thomas, Romanticism and Visuality: Fragments, History and Spectacle (New 3 York: Routledge, 2008 ), 21. Gillian d'Arcy Wood quoting Diderot, The Shock and the Real: Romanticism and Visual 4 Culture 1760-1860 (New York: Palgrave, 2001), 126.

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! 3 As one of those "last survivors," Diderot saw within these ruin images not only the unretrievable past, but the unavoidable future. Time will affect all of us and everything we create will one day crumble and be forgotten in the same manner as this ancient Roman bridge. But the "ceaseless change which accompanies the passage of time" evoked more than melancholia for Diderot, it also presented the limitless future. These "noble ideas" of impermanence and age also reminded him of the heights to which men can walk. Robert's bridge has stood the test of time, and is still used (albeit unconsciously) by the modern laborer. So, in effect, these images truly do produce thoughts of "two eternities" and explain the draw for Diderot and his contemporaries to such images and ideas. By the time the Romantics inherited these writings, views of the fragmented past and its manifestations (i.e., ruins) had become even more complicated, as the Romantics had to reconcile these thoughts presented by Diderot and other Enlightenment thinkers with Romantic ideas and philosophies. This reconciliation proved difcult, because the Romantics Figure 1 Hubert Robert, The Old Bridge 1775

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! 4 still considered classical antiquity an integral part of their identity, while simultaneously rejecting the idealism and empirical methods that usually accompanied a study of classicism. Instead, Romantics sought for a deeply personalized and emotional experience with the world, using what Samuel Coleridge called the "whole soul." Coleridge explained that only 5 a communion with the inner self or the "soul" could lead to truth: "I know of no other way of giving the mind a love of the the Great' and the Whole.' Those who had been led to the same truths step by step through the constant testimony of their senses, seem to me to want a sense which I posses: they contemplate nothing but parts, and all parts are necessarily little." 6 Coleridge recognized that a scientic understanding of the world could only take you so far. If you were to seek a deeper "truth" you needed something more. So, in searching for this "whole soul" the Romantics replaced idealism with nature and empirical reasoning with the imagination. Considering these changes, it becomes all the more intriguing to observe how the English Romantics viewed the past and how they dealt with classical memory. As mentioned before, the Romantics' still associated part of their identity with classical Europe. They still travelled to Italy and saw the Apollo Belvedere. They still read the Iliad and circulated prints of classical buildings. Collections of antiquities from Greece and Rome spilled over in the the public realm and inuenced (or helped create) a national aesthetic taste and built a National Museum. But the Romantics' more imaginative and personalized interpretation of these antiquities, coupled with a broader exploration of history and memorybeyond that of Greece and Romewove a complicated narrative of how they read the fragment. Majorie Samuel Coleridge, "Letter from S. T. Coleridge to Thomas Poole, 16 October 1797," in 5 Romanticism ed. Duncan Wu (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 638. Coleridge, ed. Wu, 638. 6

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! 5 Levinson explains it best: "To the neoclassical mind, the formal condition of the fragment was no more than that: the effect of a purely circumstantial intervention, devoid of critical implication." And while these fragments did play an inspirational role for earlier thinkers, 7 like Diderot, most saw the fragment as a sorrowful reminder of the passage of time and the incompleteness of their understanding of history. The Romantics, on the other hand, saw the fragment as evocative of a greater meaning and symbolism, due to the fact that the imagination has to play a role in the mental reconstruction of the subject. As the mind lls in the gaps of the fragment, the observer does more than absorb form and content, they have a personal experience with that piece of history. By looking at the most common form of the fragment, the physical ruin, for instance, the viewer symbolically experiences the pastas she pictures the original structure, the present looking at its current, fragmented state, and the futureas they contemplate their own connection with history and impermanence. Thomas suggests that ruins are "highly evocative forms of the fragment" due to this open potentiality and timeless nature: 8 they suggest an absent whole, and indeed occupy an ambivalent space between the part and the past whole, whose presence they afrm and negate (afrm, paradoxically, by negation). In their present state of decay, ruins signify loss and absence; they are, moreover, a visible evocation of the invisible, the appearance of disappearance. And yet, to the extent that they are themselves preserved, they suggest perseverance: the possibility, at least, of endurance against the odds of time and history. Notions of hope, memorialization, and restoration all thus adhere to the ruin as an object of contemplation, however framed or constructed that object might be. 9 Marjorie Levinson, The Romantic Fragment Poem (Chapel Hill: North Carolina UP, 7 1986 ), 33. Thomas, 42-3 8 Thomas, 42. 9

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! 6 The Romantics connected with this paradox, where the fragment evoked a piece of the history, but existed outside of it. These pieces are highly suggestive but ultimately unattainable, due to the inaccessibility of the past. As I dive through multiple Romantic 10 sources from both poets and painters in Great Britain, I aim to explore, in more detail, this narrative surrounding the Romantics and the fragment. Specically, I will explore the how the Romantics reconciled their ideas of the fragment with those ideas and philosophies that came before them. I will also look at how these views manifested themselves in the English Romantics' care of physical fragments (as they built up their National Museum) and their portrayal of fragments in artistic reproductions (like ruin images and fragment poetry). Thomas, 21. 10

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! 7 CHAPTER II T HEORETICAL APPROACH "Re-thinking History" Keith Jenkins, in his book Re-thinking History, begins his complicated approach to dening history with several examples of how the discipline has, up to this point, been viewed incorrectly. In one instance, he mentions a hypothetical student who is studying sixteenth-century England at an "A" level. This student uses as her only textbook and source of information Geoffrey Elton's England Under the Tudors. So naturally, this student, during her exam, "[writes] in the shadow of Elton" and ultimately receives an "A" in English history. But Jenkins wonders whether it would be more appropriate to say that this student 11 has received an "A" in Geoffrey Elton? Through this example, Jenkins is, in effect, saying that history is perceived through the ideology of the historian and therefore is ultimately unknowable. But if we can never actually get a grasp on "true" history, then why study it at all? Jenkins answers this troubling question with a comparison made by Haydon White as he looked at two landscapes created by Constable and Cezanne: We do not expect that Constable and Cezanne will have looked for the same thing in a given landscape, and when we confront their respective representations of a landscape, we don not expect to have to choose between them and determine which is the more correct' one [] when we view the work of an artist or [] a scientist [or historian] we do not ask if he sees what we would see in the same general eld, but whether or not he has introduced into his representation of it anything that could be considered false information for anyone who is capable of understanding the system of notation used. If applied to historical writing, the methodological and stylistic cosmopolitanism which this conception [] promotes would force historians to abandon any attempt to portray one particular portion of life right side up and in true perspective' [] and to recognize that there is no such thing as a single correct Keith Jenkins, Re-thinking History (London and New York: Routledge, 1991), 9. 11

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! 8 view. This would allow us to entertain seriously those creative distortions offered by minds capable of looking at the past with the same seriousness as ourselves but with different [] orientations. Then we should no longer naively expect that statements about a given epoch or complex of events in the past correspond' to some preexistent body of raw facts.' For we should recognize that what constitutes the facts themselves is the problem that the historian [] has tried to solve in the choice of the metaphor by which he orders his world, past, present and future. 12 Approaching the study of history by looking at it as a certain perspective, allows the student to free herself from the constraints of "truth searching" and see history as a series of stories told (and not told) from various points of view, over time. With this approach, the questions asked while studying history change from "what happened and why" to "who is telling this story and why?" It also brings into focus the stories that are not being told. According to Jenkins, there is no objective history, but nevertheless, the value that can be gained in studying "histories" does not diminish with his approach. If anything, it expands the knowledge of the learner by considering voices that have not previously been a part of the historical canon. As I began my research into the Romantic era, I'll admit, I was searching for "what happened" and "why." I set out to discover the basic ideas of Romanticism and how they were presented in Romantic works. But the more I continued my studies, the more complicated my answers became. I nally realized that my simplistic approach to understanding history was not giving me the clear vision I had initially hoped for. It actually left me more confused as I read conicting insights from various historians and rst-person accounts. For instance, I entered my studies with the general assumption that the Romantics had rejected all of the philosophies given to them by the Enlightenment (such as the prominence of reason, idealism, and empiricism) and replaced it with the imagination and Quoted in Jenkins, 68. 12

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! 9 emotional expression. While this is mostly true, I came to see that it was a simple assertion made about an incredibly complex and diverse time-period. I recognized that I was listening to only one "story" of history and that I needed to open myself up to more possibilities. With this "re-thinking" of my historical time period, I was able to make connections and see viewpoints that I had closed myself off to in my earlier theoretical approach. I began to see that the acceptance and rejection of both Enlightenment and Romantic philosophies were as unique as the individual Romantics themselves. So, I accepted Jenkins premise that there was no such thing as a "true" or objective history, and consequently, appreciated the new perspectives that this different approach brought me. However, I still found myself overwhelmed as to how I was to make sense of all of the information I was gathering. How could I ever come to any conclusions about what I was learning, when there were so many different voices presenting different things? Then I realized that most of my texts "spoke" to one another. They reacted to each other. They inuenced each other. There were many similarities between genres and mediums. So I turned to the theory of intertextuality to help me shape a discussion about Romanticism. I recognized that I would not be presenting the simple "this is what happened and why," but through intertextuality, I could begin to notice patterns in Romantic works and shape my own study around those similarities. The Role of Intertextuality As scholar Joe Moran puts it in his book, Interdisciplinary, intertextuality references "the notion that texts are formulated not through acts of individuality by original authors but through interaction and dialogue with other texts." No work exists in a vacuum. Each is 13 Joe Moran, Interdiscplinarity (New York: Routledge, 2010), 76. 13

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! 10 inuenced by and, in turn, inuences other works around them. So, by viewing different "texts" from both literary and visual sources and by looking for similar signs and symbols to "read" these texts, I could nally see a clearer image developing in my understanding of the development of Romanticism. Even from my introduction, my study begins with conversing texts. Diderot's musings on the magnicence of ruins and the ephemerality of humanity begins with a "conversation" with a visual work by French painter, Hubert Robert, called "The Old Bridge." As Diderot looked at this work, his own journals recount that he was struck by the solemnity of the man in the foreground of the painting. Diderot saw this man as one of the "lone survivors" able to recognize a lost time, and the philosopher felt a personal connection with this gure as he considered his own place within the scope history and the ultimate brevity of his personal existence. While other, later, art-historians saw this same gure as mundane and even comical (they saw the man as looking at the milkmaid across the river, instead of admiring the bridge itself), Diderot's reading comes from his own interactions with the texts and viewpoints of his era. 14 The most common associations with Diderot is one centered on the organization and the value of knowledge, where his Encyclopedia takes center stage. In effect, his work was attempt to take the fragmented knowledge of the world and put it together into one, "more complete" source of understanding. So, as I had begun my research with these initial assumptions about Diderot, I was doubly intrigued and confused by the writer's emotional and almost poetic response to this image of a fragmented bridge outside of Rome. Again, I was reminded that history is more complex than I had previously understood, but I also came "The Old Bridge," The Collection: National Gallery of Art www.nga.gov accessed Nov 14 20, 2016.

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! 11 to understand, that with the increased production of ruin images in the later half of the eighteenth century, came a different set of symbols and meanings that t more with my understanding of Romanticism, than the Enlightenment. This led me to conclude that these ideas overlapped more than I had previously noticed. Diderot's more complicated response was the result of a combination of inuences. He may have seen the shift from topographical approaches in landscapes (specically in the ruin-image genre), to more "mood" based images, like those of Joseph Wright of Darby occurring in the late eighteenth century. There also began to be several poetic and literary 15 responses to these ruin images (like the writings of Sir Walter Scott or William Blake, for instance) that associated ruins with the transitory nature of human possessions as well as the "unstoppable triumph of ravishing time." Whether or not Diderot was aware of these 16 particular examples is unknown, but the fact that this transition was happening across several mediums suggests a pattern that Diderot was undoubtedly exposed to, and in some fashion, inuenced by. In effect, as he describes the openness and limitlessness of the fragment, he is actually showing the subtle shift in thought patterns, from an organized and reason-based approach, to a more "Romantic" understanding of the world. This is just one example that shows the usefulness of intertextuality in determining meaning. These earlier texts allowed me to see the inuence of both old and new thoughts upon the Romantics, but the theory of intertextuality also helped me understand where the Romantics departed from their predecessors and helped me see the specic patterns that were emerging; dening Romantic thought. For instance, this shift towards Romanticism can be Hawes, 461-2. 15 Hawes, 466-7. 16

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! 12 clearly seen in the Romantics' reaction to the "collecting" of the natural and ancient world for the build-up of the British Museum. Scientic and historical collection of artifacts was denitely not new to this time, but with the increased humanism and knowledge-seeking that accompanied the Enlightenment, these collections moved from private, upper-class homes into the public sphere. For the rst time, the British Parliament was involved in the purchase of antiquities for the betterment of their nation. This objects were meant to serve as 17 symbols of the British nation's power and magnanimity towards those they governed. Furthermore, as they removed objects from their original context and reframed them with in the Museum space, the Museum took control of the object's meaning and therefore used these collections to what Hoock describes: "control the meanings of antiquity and claim inheritance, in terms of social systems of governance, the accomplishments of a civilized society, or cultural excellence." So, in the collection of fragments (from natural and the 18 classical world), the museum itself fragmented meaning to suit their own purposes. This again, highlights the importance of Jenkins approach to history. For what was meant to be a temple of knowledge for the betterment of the British people, was framed and fragmented by the historians presenting these objects. But even in my consideration of the development of the Museum and its imperialistic purposes, I have to admit that the democratization of knowledge, that the Museum represented to the British, was a positive step forward. But as Jenkins would ask, I would also need to be aware of who is framing this knowledge in order to get a deeper understanding of what these objects meant to those in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Hoock, 215. 17 Hoock, 207. 18

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! 13 I believe the Romantics were asking similar questions as they considered the collective efforts of their National Museum. Again, relying of the ideas of intertextuality, I can make some conclusions about their general feelings and responses by considering how their works speak to each other about the role the Museum plays in the development of the Romantic mindset. For instance, in Wordsworth's Prelude which I look at in greater detail in a later section, is just one of these texts communicating about the fragmentation of the Museum. For the poet, he is troubled by the articial presentation of nature within the carefully controlled setting of the Museum. Earlier in his Prelude, Wordsworth describes Nature as a maternal and moralizing force, that ultimately molded his mind into what it is today. He tells of one specic instance, when he was a child and had stolen a boat. As he xed his eyes upon the opposite shore, a dark peak came into view: And growing still in stature the grim shape Towered up between me and the stars, and still, For so it seemed, with purpose of its own And measured motion like a living thing, Strode after me. With trembling oars I turned, And through the silent water stole my way Back to the covert of the willow tree; There in her mooring-place I left my bark,And through the meadows homeward went, in grave And serious mood; 19 This looming peak prickled Wordsworth's conscience and convinced him to return the boat. In this story, Nature conjured his imagination, which Wordsworth interprets as a rebuke and the young, future-poet learns a lesson that is forever imprinted on his mind. Compare this reaction to the causal perusal of nature within the Museum. Words like, "carelessly," "roving" "brief" "confusion," highlight this section of his work. He casually lists these natural objects without ceremony or description "shes, gems, birds, crocodiles, shells," with Wordsworth, Prelude, Lines 377-390. 19

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! 14 as much passion as you would nd in the articles of an Encyclopedia. Clearly, Wordsworth sees the disconnect between the Museum and the natural world, and he is troubled by it. This texts speaks with other major works created by the Romantics, as they seek to separate the articial world of man and science with the glory of nature and the imagination. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is one text that seems to communicate directly with Wordsworth and his Prelude. Her character, Dr. Frankenstein gives up on the natural world, in what many see as a t of madness and pride, and as he does so, he loses a part of himself. In one section, after creating his monster, he retreats again into the wilderness, horried at what he has done and who he has become. Only when he returns to nature, can he remember who he used to be. Frankenstein exclaims: A tingling long-lost sense of pleasure came across me on this journey. Some turn in the road, some new object suddenly received and recognized, reminded me of days gone by, and were associated with the light-hearted gaiety of boyhood. The very winds whispered in soothing accents, and maternal nature bade me weep no more. 20 Clearly, Shelley picked up on the idea of a maternal or moralizing nature, as described in the earlier Prelude and used her "mother nature" as a healing balm for her lost, and confused character. From these two texts, I can make some general conclusions about how the Romantics felt about nature, and in turn, how they felt about the decontextualization of the natural world within the museum. Visual texts also have great communicative power when seeking to understand an era. In a later section, I mention Benjamin Haydon and Benjamin West's reactions to the purchase of the Elgin Marbles at the turn of the nineteenth century. But, by looking at the actual sketches these two artists created when studying these antiquites, I can see visually the shifts Mary Shelley, Frankenstein 93. 20

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! 15 in thought that were occurring in the artistic world alongside their literary contemporaries. Where Benjamin West represents the "old way" of looking at antiquities, Haydon shows in his sketches how this mode of thought is changing. Both artists recognize the removal of the Marbles from their original context, but their response to this removal is very telling. West's response is to take what he sees and place it back into the grand mythology surrounding the ancient Greek world. His sketch reects, not the actual Marbles themselves, but his own "vision" of Greek history. Haydon, on the other hand, takes great offense to this approach, for he sees the Marbles as an opportunity to study the fusion of ideal and naturalistic forms (that he feels these sculptures exemplify). His sketch is much more focused and detailed, and his goal is not to present history, but learn from classical forms. This is one key departure I have noticed in my use of intertextual study. The Romantics recognize the fragmentation of history, but instead of trying to make sense of it, they focus on how these fragments affect them personally. Whether it be Haydon using the objects of Greece to develop his more naturalized form, or Wordsworth comparing the world of man with the world of Nature, the Romantics saw the collection of fragments as objects of inspiration more than traces of history. They did not disregard the historical connection, but it was not their primary goal. Evaluating My Lens By using the methods of intertextuality, I was able to overcome my initial overwhelming feelings and make some conclusions about the Romantics and their views of the world. But even as I did so, I realized that even though I was opening myself up to various "stories" of history, I still was looking at each work through my own personal lens of

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! 16 comprehension. Throughout my education, I have been exposed to various points of view that have inuenced and shaped my own view of reality. For instance, in reading a letter from Percy Shelley to his friend Thomas Love Peacock on 1819, I can see that Shelley's visit to Rome greatly excited him. To the poet, Rome was not an inanimate pile of "stones piled upon stones," but a breathing place of beauty and genius. But even as I consider Shelley's words and what has shaped his view of 21 Rome, I am reminded of Sigmund Freud's thought experiment about mentally reconstructing Rome in his Civilization and Its Discontents I am also shaped by historian Stephen Cheeke's analysis (for it is from his article that I found this letter). I am also inuenced by the various history and art books I have read about Rome (which are presented through the lens of a historian with their own perspective and background). So, I realize, once again, the Jenkins was correct. I can never truly be unbiased when looking at the past. Just as Diderot noticed when he looked at Robert's painting, the past is gone. It cannot be reclaimed. All we have are the fragments that have survived. I can piece together what I can, to form some kind of picture, but I will never nd "Truth." I have also noticed that my twenty-rst century bias has presented itself in my writing. Just as the Museum framed its objects to promote a certain narrative, the way I presented my material was framed, to some extent, by my personal viewpoints. I noticed one specic instance when I am discussing the lengths to which Lord Elgin went to acquire the Parthenon Marbles. I made a statement about how he believed his was "saving" the Marbles from deterioration and vandalism, but by placing the word saving in quotes, I was indicating Stephen Cheeke, "What So Many Have Told, Who Would Tell Again?': Romanticism 21 and the Commonplaces of Rome." European Romantic Review 17 no. 5 (2006): 522

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! 17 to my reader that I was skeptical of this assertion. Being several layers, and several hundred years, removed from the incident, I cannot place twenty-rst century judgements on nineteenth-century acts, but with two small dots of punctuation, I tainted my writing with my own personal bias. I recognize, as Jenkins wrote in his book, that there is no perfect way of studying history. We will always be glancing through the tainted window of someone else's perception. Even rst-hand accounts represent a particular point-of-view and a particular section of the population, but I do believe that studying history is still valuable. By searching through the various stories of the past, I can do what the Romantics tried to do with the fragment; reconstruct a narrative based on patterns and my own personal interpretations. While I will not be able to tell you what all Romantics believed and saw when they looked at the fragment, I can add to the historical conversation, started long before me, and hopefully have something meaningful to add.

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! 18 CHAPTER III L ITERATURE REVIEW Introduction: The Fragment The study of the fragment is considered from two viewpoints in this paper: studies of classical fragments from ancient Greece and Rome and studies of British fragments. In order to understand how the Romantics differed from their predecessors in how they looked at the past, it is important to realize how these two views of "antiquity" overlap and inuence one another. For instance, many, like Stephan Cheeke, in his essay on Rome and Romanticism, noticed that certain themes developed for the Romantics while looking at Rome. By the time Romantics started creating their own works, prints of architecture and collections of sculpture from the Greco-Roman world had been well established. As a result, Rome (and 22 later Greece) became "commonplace" to 19th-century Brits. As such, certain themes that these fragments inspiredsuch as power, society, and the place of humanity within history were appropriated by British Romantics and used to explain and explore their own country's history and place in the world. Along with these comparisons came a developing national 23 identity that explores and uses its own fragments and histories in respect to these classical ones, to determine who they are and where they are headed as a nation. One of the most important and well researched ideas concerning the fragment is the study of the ruin. Within these studies, a theory is developed about how the Romantics used the ruin to interact with the past and develop their national identity. One inuential book, The Gillian d'Arcy Wood, The Shock and the Real: Romanticism and Visual Culture 22 1760-1860 (New York: Palgrave, 2001) 132. Stephen Cheeke, "What So Many Have Told, Who Would Tell Again?': Romanticism 23 and the Commonplaces of Rome." European Romantic Review 17 no. 5 (2006): 521-541.

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! 19 Shock and the Real: Romanticism and Visual Culture by Gillian Wood, mentions the spectacular nature of the ruin during the early nineteenth century. For her, the ruin (specically the classical ruin) was stripped of meaning and decontextualized once it was placed in its British location (or in its reproduction) as a result of the "classical frenzy" of the 18th and 19th centuries. In other words, the ruin lost its original history and meaning and 24 became nothing more than a spectacle or a stereotype of a historical moment. Take the Lepis Magna ruins that arrived from Libya in 1818, for instance. These ruins were physically removed from their original location and historical context and were refashioned by the architect of King George IV to become his own "Temple of Augustus" located in his private garden. Years of neglect and vandalism made the temple become somethings of a "ruin of a ruin", where all that was left was the spectacle of antiquity and the articial feeling of the Roman E mpire. Others, like Sophie Thomas, felt that the ruin was more dened by what was not seen, than by what was left of the structure. To her, "ruins are highly evocative forms of the fragment, and they operate according to logic: they suggest an absent whole, and occupy an ambivalent space between the part and the past whole." Her exploration included the 25 "haunting" power of the fragment or ruin, where the "whole haunts the fragment" like the past haunts the present. This haunting feeling made it a small leap between the idea of the 26 ruin and the idea of the sublime. Ruins, through their fragmented and unnished nature, sparked the imagination in a way that Romantics could really appreciate. Thomas also Wood, 123. 24 Sophie Thomas, Romanticism and Visuality: Fragments, History and Spectacle (New 25 York: Routledge, 2008) 42. Thomas, 22. 26

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! 20 mentions the power of the fragment poem, a technique mastered during Romanticism as another expression of this haunted, unnished, history. This idea was also explored by many other scholars, as they sought to discover the connection between the physical ruins of Britain and this literary tradition of fragment poetry. Others see the Romantic's love of the ruin, especially ruins within their own borders, as symbolic of a growing national identity and the beginnings of British Nationalism. Anne 27 Janowitz, in her book on England's ruins notes that the blending between nature and the ruins had a powerful aesthetic and symbolic effect on the Brits: Nature took on the project of the reclamation of the stones. The physical situation of cultural ruins within the countryside linked the rhetoric of ruin to that of the land. This turned out to be fortunate in the creation of British Nationalism: [as] ruins were admired as blending into the countryside, while [at the same time] the sense of country' as rural terrain and country' as a nation also began to melt one into the other. 28 The research on the romantic interest in the fragment is varied, but there seems to be a lively conversation about the role of the ruin in the building up of a national and imperialistic identity as well as how these structures affected the Romantic mind. The Museum In exploring ideas surrounding the fragment, it is only natural to look at the development of the British National Museum, for it was the museum that actually housed and displayed such fragments, and ultimately had the power over their meaning through their presentations. One inuential text that explores the phenomenon of the museum, specically Anthony Smith, "The land and its people': reections on artistic identications in an 27 age of nations and nationalism." Nations and Nationalism 19, no. 1 (2013): 87-106. and Anne F. Janowitz, England's Ruins: Poetic Purpose and the Romantic Landscape (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1990). Janowitz, England's Ruins 3-4. 28

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! 21 the British museum, is Holger Hoock's book, Empires of the Imagination: Politics, War, and the Arts in the British World, 1750-1850. Hoock dives into the collecting frenzy of antiquities in Western Europe, specically focusing on the collections of Great Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. Hoock argues that these collections became a symbol of Britain's cultural empire, both through the literal spoils of one nation taking culture from another through war and colonization, as well as Britain's attempt to identify itself with an ancient past (particularly a Greek and Roman past) through their acquisitions. In effect, Britain believed that as they lled their national museum with international treasures, their nation's cultural status and taste would increase correspondingly. Hoock also mentions that in the 18th 29 century, the classics were "disproportionately inuential" to those in power, for these classical themes represented an "idealized image of republican Rome that English aristocrats referred to for their own model" of government. 30 Hoock also notes that the British Museum stressed that most of their large collections of antiquities came from the donations of private citizens (like those of Sir Hans Sloan or Lord Elgin), but he explains that Britain's collection can only be seen "with reference to the power and reach of the British military and imperial state and its considerable investment of material and human resources in archeological enterprise," thus proving that the government had as much to do with their collections as private donors. 31 Along with this desire to appropriate the classical world (and appear magnanimous while doing so) the British museum also had authority over the meaning of their collections, Holger Hoock, Empires of the Imagination:Politics, War, and the Arts in the British 29 World, 1750-1850 (London: Prole Books LTD, 2010), 206-7 Hoock, 215. 30 Hoock, 208. 31

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! 22 due to the decontextualization of these pieces under the roof of the museum. Woods notices that within the museum space, viewers were forced to confront the actual physical expression of antiquity and, in turn, come to terms with their own idealization of Greek culture within the constraints of a state-institutionalized presentation. In this regard, the marbles lose some of their power and history as they are framed in their new environment. 32 Finally, Eric Vidal concentrates his book, Poetic Exhibitions: Romantic Aesthetics and the Pleasure of the British Museum, on the visual spectacle of the museum. No longer just catering to the educated elite, the National Museum took on the role of speaking to everyone, and therefore presented its collections in visually spectacular ways. Vidal saw the developing National Museum as a site for personal reection, longing, and pleasure open to all. He stresses the value of democratizing knowledge and how it helped shape the growing nation. Artistic Expressions Along with a look at the developing National Museum, many scholars wrote about how artists and poets recreated the fragment within their own creative works. One of the main ideas expressed is the Romantic struggle between Neoclassical Idealism and Empiricism and newer Romantic ideas of looking at the world. Again, Wood and Thomas focus on these ideas in their books; using works by Shelley and Byron to explore this conict. Thomas ultimately comes to the conclusion that one of the ways the Romantics dealt with this struggle was through focusing on an experience with a fragment rather than seeing it as an imperfect specimen of a lost, idealized history: "Historical specicity is, it seems, less important than a brush with historicity ruins create the pleasurable illusion of an historical Wood, 133. 32

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! 23 encountera spectacle even of historicity while articulating the absence of an actual historical reference." So, works by Romantic poets and artists usually portrayed a symbolic 33 tie to the past or expressed some deeper idea, not merely copied overused Greek and Roman forms. Indeed, most scholars agree that the draw to ruins, for Romantics, lies in this intangible and unknowable aspect. This line of thought aligns nicely with the Romantics' ideas concerning the sublime. A.C. Swanepoel and Matthew Breannan both do an excellent job explaining how the sublime manifests itself in Romantic works, looking particularly at works by Coleridge and Wordsworth. When looking at Coleridge's "Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner," Swanepoel says, As poet, he [Coleridge] would focus on the antithesis of the known, the perceptible and the visible and thereby create "shadows of the imagination" that would lure one to suspend one's disbelief to arrive at "poetic faith". Coleridge's contributions to Lyrical Ballads were to bring about a willing suspension of disbelief, not by drawing on "the truth of nature", i.e. actuality, but rather by creating scenes that would "procure" imagination. The willing suspension of disbelief is thus an exercise whereby the imagination is sustained and prolonged a state where anything interfering with the imagination is suspended in order to arrive at poetic faith. "Poetic faith"will thus henceforth be used to refer to a state of engaged and prolonged imagination, a state where one cannot rely only on one's senses. It is a state that tolerates antitheses to arrive at a sense of "the great" and "the whole". Poetic faith depends on an active imagination the type of imagination advocated by Kant's successors. It is indeed necessary to look beyond the perceptible in order to contemplate the immensity and inscrutability of the universe. 34 Both Swanepoel and Brennan agree that only in contemplation of this "unknown" can someone experience the sublime, for it comes when the "comparing power of the mind" is Thomas, 61. 33 A.C. Swanepoel, "Coleridge's Transcendental Imagination: The Seascape beyond the 34 Senses in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,'" Journal of Literary Studies 26, no. 1 (2010): 199-200.

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! 24 suspended and is replaced by an overwhelming "feeling or intense unity" with the object under contemplation. 35 It is clear that there has been varied and extensive research on the fragment, especially as seen by the Romantics. This thesis will hopefully add to the conversation as it explores the complexities with which the Romantics viewed, understood, and reproduced the fragment. Wordsworth quoted by Eric Vidal, Poetic Exhibitions: Romantic Aesthetics and the 35 Pleasure of the British Museum (London: Bucknell UP, 2001 ), 78.

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! 25 CHAPTER IV THE MATERIAL FRAGMENT: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM AND A NATIONAL AESTHETIC TASTE Commenting on the craze commenting surrounding the collection of antiquities during the eighteenth century in Britain, Indian national Abu Taleb said, "statues of stone and marble are held in high estimation approaching to idolatry. Once in my presence, in London, a gure which had lost its head, arms, and thighs, and of which, in short, nothing but the trunk remained, was sold for 40,000 rupees. It is really astonishing that people possessing knowledge and good sense [] should be this tempted to throw away their money upon useless blocks." Although it may seem ridiculous, this desire to acquire the physical 36 fragments of history (especially classical history) became extremely important to both individual scholars and the national government of Britain. The fragmented state of these works was troublesome, for it was a reminder of the passage of time, but ultimately these collectors were able to overlook these aws, for classical fragments still represented the classical world no matter how crumbled that world had become. Historian William St. Clair described this phenomenon of "collecting history," as a way of collecting or appropriating classical (particularly Greek) culture itself. This collective effort helped legitimize the claims that Britain's cultural origins were in Greece, and solidied the image of London as the "New Athens." When speaking specically about 37 the push to collect pieces from Athens at the turn of the century, St. Clair notes, Holger Hoock, Empires of the Imagination: Politics, War, and the Arts in the British 36 World, 1750-1850, (London: Prole Books LTD, 2010), 215-16 Angela Esterhammer, "Translating the Elgin Marbles: Byron, Hemans, Keats," 37 Wordsworth Circle 40, 1 (2009): 30.

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! 26 the appropriation of the Parthenon is part of the appropriation of Hellenism as a whole, a process that began in the ancient Hellenistic and Greco-Roman worlds, was resumed in the Western European tradition during the Renaissance, made signicant scholarly, historical, archeological, and scientic advances from the eighteenth century onwards, and is still continuing. 38 The act of "collecting Hellenism" was certainly not new, but the Romantics approached their collecting from a different mindset than their Enlightenment ancestors. This difference was partially due to the complicated way in which they viewed the fragment and partially a result of shifting attitudes about their nation and material culture itself. This chapter will explore these changing attitudes and how it reected the Romantics' vision of the fragment, especially in terms of the development of the British National Museum and the desire for a more unied, national aesthetic taste. The National Museum When the British National Museum was rst founded in 1753, it was meant to serve as a temple to empiricism. It began when Sir Hans Sloan, a naturalist, physician and avid collector, desired that his collection of "curiosities" made up of about 71,000 objects be preserved after his death. So in his will, he bequeathed the entire collection to King George II in return for £20,000 for his heirs. The collection was meticulously categorized, organized 39 and put on display for all "studious and curious persons" who wished to see them. Thus, the 40 "rst" national museum was born. Among the original curiosities were various natural 41 William St. Clair, "The Parthenon and the Elgin Marbles," Imperialism, Art and 38 Restitution Draft of a conference paper, March 23, 2004. "History of the British Museum," The British Museum, www.britishmuseum.org 39 (accessed Sept 24, 2016). "History of the British Museum," The British Museum. 40 "History of the British Museum," The British Museum. 41

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! 27 specimens, manuscripts, books, and antiquities from various ancient sites such as Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Americas. These objects, and other objects added to the museum over time, had only been seen, up to this point, in private collections or in public prints and engravings. So, with the bequeathment came the rst, real public access to such a collection, which the nation proudly celebrated and enjoyed. After seeing the museum's Catalogue of King Charles the First's Collection of Pictures when it was rst presented to the public in 1757, for instance, British historian and politician, Horace Walpole wrote: The Establishment of the British Museum seems a charter for incorporating the arts, a new era of virtu. It is to be hoped that collections that would straggle through auctions into obscurity, will now nd a center! Who that should destine his collection to the British Museum, would not purchase curiosities with redoubled spirit and pleasure, whenever he reected, that he was collecting for his country, and would have his name recorded as a benefactor to its arts and improvements? And where so fair a foundation is laid, if pictures and statues ow in to books and medals, and curiosities of every kind, may we not atter ourselves, that a British Academy of arts will arise; at least that we shall not want great masters of our own, when models are prepared; and our artists can study Greece and Rome, Praxiteles and Raphael, without stirring from their own metropolis? 42 Not only did Walpole realize that access to these works would have an effect on public taste and ultimately lead to a British Academy of the arts (which will be discussed in a later section), but he equates the buildup of the National Museum with the building of his country, and those who donate their collections to the public are seen as contributing to national improvement. This joining of the public and private within the museum mirrored the political changes within Britain during the eighteenth century. These changes, such as the democratization of knowledge that accompanied the enlightenment, suggested that all can Eric Vidal, Poetic Exhibitions: Romantic Aesthetics and the Pleasure of the British 42 Museum, (London, Bucknell UP: 2001 ), 39.

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! 28 benet from exposure to the natural and material arts (not just the educated elite). It is for this reason that the state felt obligated to purchase these collections, for they realized that as they built their National museum, they built their Nation. These collections also highlighted Britain's powerful position they held at this time, particularly through the accumulation of material remnants from Britain's interests around the world (their colonies). By displaying these objects in a publicly owned space, the government was, in effect, taking ownership of the cultures themselves, and proving to their nation, and foreign visitors, of where they stood in relationship to these cultures. As Hoock describes it, "National museums enshrined cultural authority, which in turn symbolized diplomatic inuence, political prestige, and military power. Acquiring and displaying prize antiquities were becoming key to the cultural politics of major Western European nationstates." The museum became a space that represented a "politically organized and socially 43 institutionalized power [that] most avidly seeks to realize its desire to appear as beautiful, natural, and legitimate." In other words, as they achieve cultural authority through their 44 collections, they also gain authority political authority as a nation. Besides displaying inuence, the eighteenth-century museum also demanded authority and attention in the way it organized and categorized their collections. As the "cultural authority" of the nation, the museum inuenced how their visitors saw other cultures, merely by the way they presented their collections. This use of cultural inuence manifested itself in several ways. First, the museum showed a clear preferential treatment of objects from the classical world (which were usually given larger and more accessible Hoock, 208. 43 Gillian d'Arcy Wood, The Shock and the Real: Romanticism and Visual Culture 44 1760-1860 (New York: Palgrave, 2001) 131.

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! 29 rooms) in comparison to other regions. But this preferential treatment could also take into 45 account that classical culture, which held a long standing place of importance for the elites of Britain, was also becoming popular among the common people where arrivals "of major archeological collections in Bloomsbury made national news. Ancient civilizations increasingly captured the popular imagination." This popularity among the educated and uneducated alike was one of the reasons it was so easy to persuade Parliament to purchase these collections. Therefore, the special treatment of classical fragments reected a "statesponsored expression of antiquarian consciousness." 46 Second, the museum also showed a reliance on theories of empiricism to categorize objectssuggesting that the path to "truth" and understanding, especially of the natural world, came only through rational means. Clearly drawing upon John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) the museum's layouts (particularly in terms of categorization) reected Locke's ideas about the correlation between the "sensory experience and cognitive reection" and therefore, presented their material in a way that allowed for rational reection and understanding. But even as they sought to rationally categorize and 47 organize their world, the actual visual presentation of these exhibits was chaotic and confusing. Objects were presented in haphazard, crowded displayseach section striving to steal attention from the nextmaking the museum both an example of scientic reasoning as well as a visual spectacle, relying on the visitor to make sense of it all. 48 Wood, 123. 45 Wood, 122. 46 Vidal, 35. 47 Vidal, 81. 48

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! 30 By the time Romanticism had taken hold in Britain, this blending of empiricism with chaos had become the standard, leaving many Romantics feeling the effects of "museum fatigue." These Romantics differed from the previous generation by rejecting the carefully categorized and rational world they inherited from the Enlightenment, and instead sought a personalized and imaginative connection with the world around them. Theirs was a world lled with mystery and emotional expression, where truth and understanding came from internal exploration rather than the senses. So while the museum offered many valuable experiences for the Romantics, its overall inherent, empirical rationalism would have felt stale and unmoving. William Wordsworth writes in his autobiographical, epic poem, Prelude of a visit to the museum that expresses this feeling: I gazed, roving as through a cabinet Or wide museum, thronged with shes, gems, Birds, crocodiles, shells, where little can be seen, Well understood, or naturally endeared, Yet still does every step bring something forth That quickens, pleases, stings and here and there A casual rarity is singled out And had its brief perusal, then gives way To others, all supplanted in their turn. Meanwhile, amid this gaudy congress framed Of things by nature more unneighborly, The head turns round, and cannot right itself; And, though an aching and barren sense Of gay confusion still be uppermost, With few wise longings and but little love, Yet something to the memory sticks at last Whence prot may be drawn in times to come. 49 Wordsworth recognizes the "prot" that is to be gained from the visual spectacle of the museum, but this prot comes from internal reection, not from the visit itself. Only when he William Wordsworth, The Prelude ed. Johnathon Wordsworth, M. H. Abrams, and 49 Stephen Gill (New York: Norton, 1979), 3.651-68.

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! 31 recalls his visit using his imagination does it have meaning for him. He describes his experience as a wandering path from one object to the next, "where little can be seen." This lack of sight can be a result of the chaotic nature of the displays, framed in "gaudy congress" that never allows him to focus on any one piece in particular. Or, he could be referring to the museum's stale presentation, where these pieces of nature have been removed from their context and categorized with empirical precision. How can he truly appreciate shes and gems when they are seen from the perspective of scientic rationalism, rather than within the sublime natural world from which they came? Similar to Abu Taleb's response to the "culture collecting" of classical antiquities, Wordsworth offers a Romantic cross-examination of the fragmented collection of nature within the British Museum. His poem categorically lists the various natural objects he sees: "shes, gems, birds, crocodiles etc." but even as he does this, he highlights the incomplete and inauthentic presentation of the Museum itself. The reader can recognize the mechanical method of description as a symbolic reference of the actual visual presentation of the natural world, and in turn, how Wordsworth felt about these displays. These displays were meant to represent nature, but in the very act of taking these objects out of the natural world and reassembling them inside the articial, factory-like museum space, for the Romantics, nature's true power is lost in the transfer. Wordsworth, who credits the natural world for his own intellectual and moral development in his Prelude writes in a earlier section: How strange, that all The terrors, pains, and early miseries, Regrets, vexations, lassitudes interfused Within my mind, should e'er have borne a part, And that a needful part, in making up The calm existence that is mine when I Am worthy of myself! Praise to the end! Thanks to the means which Nature deigned to employ;

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! 32 Whether her fearless visitings, or those That came with soft alarm, like hurtless light Opening the peaceful clouds; or she would use Severer interventions, ministry More palpable, as best might suit her aim. 50 To Wordsworth, only an authentic experience with the "interventions" of Nature herself, could have truly inspired and shaped the Romantic mind. The museum experience, on the other hand, has the power to "turn heads," but ultimately creates only confusion and a longing for the authentic, natural world. To Wordsworth, this fragmented and manipulated version of nature offers nothing but a constant battle "between insufciency and anticipation." While he does not lament the fragmented objects themselves, the experience of the museum, for him, is a fragmented one, as it is always reaching but never communicating totality. In other words, the museum's desire to rationally control the presentation of nature, 51 for the Romantics, ultimately fragments nature itself. The museum becomes more concerned with the "collection" of knowledge, rather than seeking a deeper understanding of its collections. Thus, to the Romantics, the museum left its visitors with a feeling of fatigue. But even with this fatigue and the limiting nature of the museum space, the actual fragments housed within the walls of the public museum were very inuential and meaningful to Romantic poets and painters. These objects offered them more than a presentation of ancient history, as it did for their predecessors; they inspired deep personal reections on the passage of time as well as how they, as individuals, t within the spectrum of history. The fragment, being partially whole and partially missing, became a source that both exposed and hid the mysteries of ancient cultures and, according to the Romantics, William Wordsworth, "The Prelude, Book First," Complete Poetical Works (1888) 50 www.bartleby.com, lines 344-351. Vidal, 81. 51

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! 33 could only be reconstructed within the imagination. For example, Keats' expresses the importance of these fragmented objects in his famous poem, "Ode on a Grecian Urn." In the poem, Keats speaks to his Urn as an object that both represents and is outside of history: Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness, !!!!!! Thou foster-child of silence and slow time, Sylvan historian, who canst thus express !!!!!! A owery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: 52 Keats addresses this object as a historian that cannot speak. The urn, by its very existence, represents a piece of history and its gures, painted on its sides, tell a story, but this story can only be reconstructed through the mind that is contemplating it. The urn cannot speak for itself, only inspire the imagination of its viewers. Keats' urn, in effect, becomes a symbol of the Romantics' relationship with fragmentation of history. These objects, collected and organized for the museum space, were meant to serve as sign-posts, or symbols, of a previous time. Through their study, they offered limitless possibilities of internal and external discovery via the imagination, but as with the exploration of the fragment itself, these insights were limited. They offered no more understanding of the object's "true" meaning, than Keats' imaginative and personalized discussion did with this urn. The knowledge gained from these objects became nothing more than a refection of the mind contemplating them. This again points to the frustrations that many Romantics had with fragmentation of the museum. They recognized, just as Wordsworth saw in his wanderings, that these pieces of history have been removed from its "whole" or original meaning. Any subsequent reconstruction would be articial and incomplete. Be that as it may, the Romantics still found John Keats, "Ode on a Grecian Urn," in Romanticism ed. Duncan Wu (Oxford: Wiley52 Blackwell, 2012)

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! 34 importance in communing with these silent objects of the past. As Keats writes in the last stanza of this poem: O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede !!!!!!!!! Of marble men and maidens overwrought, With forest branches and the trodden weed; !!!!!!!!! Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral! !!!!!!!! When old age shall this generation waste, !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, !!!!!!!!! "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,that is all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. 53 Though the Romantics recognized their own limited understanding of history, they also realized that these objects still had the power to "tease us out of thought." They became more than a representation of the past. They inspired the Romantics. One particular set of fragments that was especially inspiring to the Romantic mind was the collection of the Elgin Marbles. The Elgin Marbles In 1799, Thomas Bruce, Lord of Elgin, became the British ambassador to the Ottoman empire, and with his appointment saw an opportunity to bring Athens to his country. Athenian sculptures and monuments were already well-known by the British 54 people, in the form of engravings, but Lord Elgin felt he could return with more substantial representations of ancient Greek culture. So, through a series of negotiations (and many believe, outright bribes), Lord Elgin was able to receive a rman from the Turkish government that allowed him to "dig, and to take away pieces of stone with inscriptions or Keats, "Ode on a Grecian Urn." 53 William, St. Clair, "The Elgin Marbles: Questions of Stewardship and Accountability," 54 International Journal of Cultural Property 2 (1999): 39 9.

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! 35 gures." But in a move that many saw as exceeding the terms of this rman, Lord Elgin 55 removed the pedimental statues and frieze from the Parthenon in Athens, among other major sculptures from the Acropolis. Lord Elgin saw his operation as a way of "saving" these sculptures from the mismanagement of the Turks who, up to this time, allowed tourists and servicemen from many different countries to break off pieces from various ancient sites to take home with them. St. Clair points out that, "eager to acquire even the smallest carved fragment as a souvenir, [the love of antiques] had created a lively market for broken-off pieces that the Ottoman soldiers of the fortress were able to supply. Elgin's removals put a stop to the casual pillage and pilfering, that had done more damage in a few years than had occurred in the [previous] century [] To that extent, [Elgin] was able to claim, with some justice, that he was performing an act of rescue." To this, Hoock adds, "even the French, who envied 56 Britain's hold of the Elgin marbles, rejoiced that these masterpieces have been rescued from the barbarism of the Turks and preserved by an Enlightened connoisseur who will allow the public to enjoy them.'" Regardless of the motive and method, the acquisition of the marbles 57 from the Parthenon caused a great stir within Britain. There were some, like Lord Byron, who felt that the acquisition could be seen as nothing more than the "spoils of war." He equated that, rather than seeing themselves as a "New Athens," they t closer with Imperial Rome and said that the purchase and display of the marbles was no different than the "ancient Roman practice of seizing trophies and St. Clair, "The Elgin Marbles: Questions of Stewardship and Accountability," 400. 55 St. Clair, "The Parthenon and the Elgin Marbles, 2. 56 Hoock, 240. 57

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! 36 celebrating their arrival in the imperial capital with public triumphs." Even more disturbing 58 to the British people, was the comparison between their collecting efforts and the contemporaneous looting of Rome by Napoleon. As an imperial nation that sought to 59 promote the "legitimate" and "rescuing" narrative in their conquests, it was important that their material collections should be seen in that same light. So to be compared to a man 60 many saw as a tyrant, and who broke all of the rules of a civilized nation, clearly rufed some feathers. Not only did those against Elgin's collection argue about the manner of acquisition, but they also felt that once removed from their original context, these sculptures no longer held any meaning. As a writer in a European magazine wrote in 1821, "As long as they [the marbles] remain on their soil, they are classically important; but the moment they cross the seasthey are converted into puppetsmere objects of curiosityall association must be spoiled when we behold it surrounded by the hum and bustle of a crowded city." This 61 argument has some merit, for not only do these pieces lose meaning in their fragmented state, but they are also "collected" from their original context and "framed as the subject of art," altogether forgetting their original meaning and purpose. Even their "renaming as the 62 Elgin' Marbles erases their origins" and repurposes them for the museum's own needs. Wood sees this process as a "neutralization" of other cultures, where "acquiring, Angela Esterhammer, "Translating the Elgin Marbles: Byron, Hemans, Keats," 58 Wordsworth Circle, 40, 1 (2009): 29. Esterhammer, 29-30. 59 St. Clair, The Parthenon and the Elgin Marbles," 2. 60 Quoted in Hoock, 235-6. 61 Thomas, 81. 62

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! 37 institutionalizing, and nally renaming [the marbles, in this case]enabled their subsequent enlistment as symbols of national identity." This, again, proves the cultural authority the 63 National Museum held within the community, as well as what many Romantics, such as Byron, saw as an abuse of position and power over other cultures. Others, especially those who were seeking to support this building of the national identity, saw the purchase of the Elgin marbles as a triumph for the museum and the British nation. In an excerpt from the Gentlemen's Magazine, published in 1817, the writer expresses his own joy in the acquisition as he describes the exhibit to his readers: The publick will very shortly be gratied by free access to those famous Athenian Sculptures which were lately purchased for the Nation by the British ambassador to the porte. Two spacious rooms have been built for their exhibition on the ground oor of the British Museum, adjoining the Townley and Egyptian Galleries casts of Athenian statuary, the originals of which still adorn Athens and its vicinity: and in the other, originals from Athens, which will henceforward be properly called the Athenian Marbles and Sculptures. On the ground oor are disposed the several statues, as the Theseus, &c.; and at the height of six feet from the oor the Friezes; while a few feet higher are the Metopes. Nothing can be more striking, more interesting, and more affecting. We are struck with them as the remains of ages so renowned, and so long passed away! We are interested with them as performances of matchless beauty, and many of them the work of Ictinus, under the superintendence of Phidias! And we are affected at that revolution of empires which has occasioned their transportation from their native city to a country which, in the age of Pericles, was esteemed the most barbarous of all countries, even if its very existence was known. They are, however, a proud trophy, because their display in the British metropolis is the result of public taste; and also a pleasing one, because they are not the price of blood, shed in wanton or ambitious wars. United to the Townley and other collections, the suite of rooms exhibits the nest display of the art of sculpture to be found in the world, and they will always do honour to the metropolis, and to the parties concerned in assembling and purchasing them. 64 This piece exemplies all of the reasons why the British were excited to have public ownership of the Athenian sculptures. Not only did they renew Britain's love and fascination Wood, 131. 63 Vidal, 115-6. 64

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! 38 for the Greek world, but it offered Hellenism to everyone, effectively leaving the "scholarly archive and dilettante's cabinet to enter the social sphere as an object of popular visual wonder." In this way, the fragment in the form of the Elgin Marbles represented both the 65 democratic and imperial accomplishments of the British nation. Seeing how both these competing truths might have resonated simultaneously in the mind of the Romantics again reiterates the complicated position they held when viewing the fragment. National Aesthetic Taste Coupled with the democratization of knowledge, the purchase of the Elgin marbles also was undertaken with a hope that it would shape a national aesthetic taste. Recalling neoclassical texts where Greek forms were the epitome of grace and beauty, many felt that the Marbles would inspire a similar taste within the British populace. This was one of the reasons why Elgin himself sought to recover Athens, for he felt contemporary artists could benet "from what he saw as the best period of classical art, that is of the fth century B.C." It was also one of the main considerations of British Parliament, as they discussed 66 purchasing the marbles for the state. Many in favor of the purchase argued that exposure to such beauty could not help but "transmit their [Greek] genius onto the youth of England" and maybe even awaken what Ennio Quirina Visconti hoped would be a "new renaissance" in British art. In a letter to Lord Elgin, Visconti exclaimed, "If the classical statues of Italy were an inspiration to the Michelangelos and Raphaels of the sixteenth century will not the Elgin Wood, 132. 65 St. Clair, "The Parthenon and the Elgin Marbles," 1. 66

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! 39 marbles inaugurate a few era for the progress of sculpture in England?" But an English 67 renaissance never arrived. Though the Romantics were excited and moved by the collection, it did not, however, inspire a renewed reverence in the Greek ideal. This was partially due to the fact that the marbles presented Greece in a way the British were not used to seeing. These fragments were "far more deteriorated" than any "literary account, print, or Roman collection," as well as presented a more natural, rather than idealized rendering of the human form than had been seen in Roman works. Some, who noticed this but still hoped for renewed idealism, offered 68 a way around this issue, claiming that the fragments wouldn't necessarily represent "perfection, elegance, purity, and grandeur of form" but instead "might link to a nostalgic recreation of ancient Greece." But most of the Romantics wouldn't be limited by nostalgia 69 or constraint to a standard ideal. To them, the Marbles in their fragmented state, offered what Romantic critic William Hazlitt referred to as a "freedom" from these restraints. This 70 freedom came from both an increased application of the imagination (to ll in the missing pieces) as well as the Marbles' more naturalized presentation of the human form. Hazlitt, stating that the Marbles proved earlier concepts of idealism as wrong, said, "The Elgin Marbles give a at contradiction to this gratuitous separation of grandeur of design and exactness of detail as incompatible in works of art, and we conceive that, with their whole Visconti quoted by Rochelle Gurstein, "The Elgin Marbles, romanticism & the waning of 67 ideal beauty,'" Daedalus, 131, 4 (2002): 89. Wood, 132. 68 Grant F. Scott, "Beautiful Ruins: The Elgin Marbles Sonnet in Its Historical and 69 Generic Contexts." Keats-Shelley Journal 39 (1990): 130. Gurstein, 95-6. 70

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! 40 ponderous weight crush it, it will be difcult to set this theory on its legs again.'" Hazlitt 71 felt the increased Romantic feelings that one standard of beauty, clung to by earlier writers, was growing stale and saw the Marbles naturalistic forms as examples of how to break free from this classical idealism. This idea of "freedom" is demonstrated in the writings of painter Benjamin Robert Haydon, who describes his interactions with American painter Benjamin West as they both considered the Marbles in 1809: While I was drawing there [with the marbles], West came in, and seeing me, said with surprise, Hah, hah, Mr. Haydon, you are admitted, are you? I hope you and I can keep a secret.' The very day after, he came down with large canvasses, and without at all entering into the principles of these divine things, hastily made compositions from Greek history, putting in the Theseus, the Ilyssus, and others of the gures, and restoring defective partsthat is, he did that which he could do easily, and which he did not need to learn how to do, and avoided doing that which he could only do with difculty, and which he was in great need of learning how to do. 72 There is no doubt that Haydon was inspired by Elgin's collection, but he was equally shocked at West's blatant disregard of what actually was before him. What Haydon saw was a naturalized presentation of the human form that he had never seen before, where even the back of the statue was meticulously carved to nature, not to t some ideal. For West to 73 simply "restore" the missing fragments in his usual, grand manner, to Haydon, not only showed a lack of creativity, but also missed the meaning that he had found in the fragments. He continues his account: My early attempt to unite Nature with the ideal form of the antique was now proved correct by the perfection of that union in these faultless productions. The Quoted in Gurstein, 95. 71 Quoted in Vidal, 123-4. 72 Gurstein, 90. 73

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! 41 advantage to me was immense. No other artist drew there at all for some months, and then only West came, but he did not draw the marbles, and study their hidden beauties. He merely made a set of rattling compositions, taking the attitudes as models for his own inventions. This was not doing what I had done. Investigating for their principles deeply and studiously. West derived little benet from this method, while in every gure I drew the principle was imbibed and inhaled forever. 74 This naturalistic and mysterious reading of the Elgin Marbles illustrates the creative power that the fragmented material history had upon the Romantic mind. While West strove to ll in the missing fragments with common ideals of antiquity, Haydon through the use of the imagination and inspiration, sought to blend the natural with the ideal, even the unknown, and thus, to his mind, created something entirely new. Through his blending efforts, his creations spoke to both the educated elite and the public, thereby creating a more "democratic and accessible" art. The comparison between the two artists' can be seen in the 75 sketches they created as they looked at the Marbles (Figs. 2 & 3) So, while the purchasers of the Elgin Marbles sought to inspire (and control) a developing national taste for the classical, the Romantics were inspired by the collection in other ways. For the rst time, they were presented with antiquity that represented their world in a more naturalistic manner, and it was still beautiful and inspiring! Also, because of its fragmented state, the Romantics had more room to play with in their readings of these works. Ultimately instead of elevating the country's taste upwards, towards idealism the purchase of the Elgin marbles opened the country outwards, bringing in both the educated and the lay class into its sphere of inuence with its more naturalistic style and room for personalized interpretations. Vidal, 124. 74 Vidal, 136-7. 75

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! 42 Figure 2 Benjamin Robert Haydon Head from horse from the Parthenon Pediment, 19th cent. Figure 3 Benjamin West, Sketches of the Parthenon Metopes 19th Cent

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! 43 The Museum's efforts to collect and control material culture had a unique effect on the Romantics. While it did consolidate cultural authority and help build up a national identity, the museum also inadvertently subverted its own authority by giving knowledge and interpretation back to the people. Even in its rationally organized and idealized state, the Romantics were able to make the Museum, and its holdings, their ownvia the imagination One of the main reasons why they were able to accomplish this, was due to the fragmented state of the objects within the walls of the museum. This fragmentation denoted a type of "open potentiality" or limitlessness, to which the Romantics could ll how they chose. In the next chapter, I will explore just how they lled those gaps in their own reproduction of fragments. But whether grappling with the actual material of the past, or reproducing it in artistic endeavors, it is clear that the Romantics had a complex relationship with fragment and by extension, a complex relationship with history.

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! 44 CHAPTER V ROMANTIC RUIN PAINTINGS AND FRAGMENT POETRY: COMPLIATIONS IN ARTISTIC REPRODUCTIONS Eighteenth-century German philosopher Johann Winkelmann, while looking at a fragmented piece of antiquity, remarked, "we too have, as it were, nothing but a shadowy outline left of the object of our wishes, but that very indistinctness awakens only a more earnest longing for what we have lost, and we study the copies of the originals more attentively than we should have some the originals themselves, if we had been in full possession of them." Winkelmann, expressing his sorrow at the fragmented state of the 76 material remnants of classical antiquity, illustrates a common attitude towards history shared by many during the Enlightenment era. Theirs was a Hellenistic scholarship marked by distance and idealism, and the fragmented material reality of Greece and Rome was a cruel, yet unavoidable effect of time. 77 The Romantics, on the other hand, full of ideas about personalized experience and emotional expression, approached the fragmented past not merely with regret, but also with excitement. Fragments, to them, offered a variety of interpretations and experiences that no intact structure could elicit. William Gilpin, one of the founding fathers of the concept of the Picturesque, remarked: "Should we wish to give it [an elegant piece of Palladian architecture] picturesque beauty, we must use the mallet, instead of the chisel: we must beat down one half of it, deface the other, and throw the mutilated members around in heaps. In short, from a smooth building, we must turn it into a rough ruin. No painter, who had the choice of the two Wood, 123. 76 Wood, 124-5. 77

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! 45 objects, would hesitate to choose." So to the Romantics, rather than merely offering 78 limitations, the fragment became a site of variable personal expressionfrom sorrow to the sublimethat engaged the Romantic imagination, and opened up the thinker to its limitless possibilities. That's not say that Winkelmann's writings did not have an effect on Romantic artists and poets. To the contrary: they too, just as was mentioned in the introduction and the previous chapter, saw the value in studying classical culture. They inherited, to some extent, what Romantic philosopher Friedrich Schiller described as a "sentimental longing for antiquity." This longing manifested itself in the form of a "debilitating melancholy" where 79 tourists recognized their own estrangement from history as they "linger[ed] before the monuments of ancient times." Shelley demonstrated this "sentimentality" for Rome in a 80 letter to his friend, Thomas Love Peacock in 1819, shortly after arriving in the ancient city: And what shall I say to you of Rome? If I speak of the inanimate ruins, the rude stones piled upon stones, which are the sepulchers of the fame of those who once arrayed them with the beauty which has faded, will you not believe me insensible to the vital, the almost breathing creations of genius yet subsisting in their perfection? What has become you will ask of the Apollo the Gladiator the Venus of the Capitol ? What of the Apollo of Belvedere and Laocoon ? What of Rafael and Guido? These things are best spoken of when the mind has drunk in the spirit of their forms; and little indeed can I, who must devote no more than a few months to the contemplation of them, hope to know or to feel of their profound beauty. 81 Thomas quoting Gilpin, 21 78 Wood, 121. 79 Wood, 121. 80 Stephen Cheeke, "What So Many Have Told, Who Would Tell Again?': Romanticism 81 and the Commonplaces of Rome." European Romantic Review 17 no. 5 (2006): 522

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! 46 In his elaborate description, Shelley shows his inheritance of Winkelmann and Schiller's idealized Rome, both rejoicing in and lamenting the effect that the beautiful forms had upon him. But Shelley also demonstrates in this passage, the Romantic point of departure from idealized Enlightenment philosophies. As Shelley anticipates the months he has to contemplate his surroundings, he is not simply glorifying Hellenistic culture above all else. Rather, he is expecting this brush with antiquity to facilitate a personal experience with a lost and forgotten time. Shelley's goal was not the physical and psychological distancing promoted by Winkelmann. He, instead, 82 wanted a hands-on, personal and physical experience with antiquity. Yes, he recognized his 83 separation from the past in which some of the "beauty has faded," but he also recognized that even in its fragmented and crumbling state, the city "breathes" of its former genius and perfection. His inspiration comes from the fragmented state of Rome, rather than in spite of it. His response shows the complex relationship that the Romantics had with the fragment. They simultaneously accepted and rejected Enlightenment methods of understanding history, as they sought to reconcile earlier idealistic tendencies with the Romantic urge to personally experience and express their "whole soul." This chapter will focus on how the Romantics 84 dealt with the fragment within their own works, both visually and within literature, and how their complicated view of the past manifested itself within these works. Wood, 124-5. 82 Wood, 122. 83 Cheeke quoting Shelley, 532. 84

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! 47 The Classical Ruin During the eighteenth-century, at the height of the grand tour, visitors to Italy were shocked at the naturalistic renderings of history by Italian Baroque artists. While looking at Caravaggio's Judith and Holofernes for instance, Lady Miller wrote: The picture is too well done; it struck me directly, that it must have been taken from life. The idea threw me into a trembling, and made me very sick; producing the same effects upon me, that perhaps I might have experienced from the presence of a real execution: the separation of the neck, the force she uses, the sprouting of blood from the divided arteries, and her countenance, whist she turns away her face from the dreadful work she is about, and which nevertheless expresses a erceness and a sort of courage little betting a woman make it a picture quite improper for the inspection of those who have any degree of feeling. 85 By the time Lady Miller was exposed to this work by Caravaggio in the late eighteenth century, the concept of the ideal form was rmly established. This ideal preferenced classical form over the more naturalistic renderings of later artists, pulling from Winkelmann's Reections on the imitation of the Painting and Sculpture of the Greeks (1755) as its reference. Greece and Rome became the standard to which all later artists were compared, 86 and rescued from what Frances Reynolds described in her Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Taste (1785) as the "parochialism of localized preferences." 87 Some of the dening characteristics of this classical ideal for those in the eighteenth century were preferences for monochromatic sculpture and an unbroken or a "pure" presentation of form. In regards to color, Winkelmann was unaware that Greek marble was actually very colorful, believing that the weather-beaten remnants of antiquity were as they Chloe Chard, "Nakedness and Tourism: Classical Sculpture and the Imaginative 85 Geography of the Grand Tour," Oxford Art Journal 18 no. 1 (1995): 17. Chard, 15. 86 Chard, 20. 87

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! 48 always were. So his statement that, "the essence of sculpture is pure form" where "White is the essence of purity, the essence of classicism," was actually an ignorant assumption that 88 was adopted by many Neoclassicists as a portrayal of the ideal. Winkelmann also inuenced artists when he noted that "the form of real beauty', as exemplied by the works of the ancients, has no abrupt or broken parts.' In other words, Enlightenment thinkers and artists had difculties with the fragment, as seen in Winkelmann's lament mentioned earlier in this section. The Romantics, who in many ways inherited this mode of looking at classical sculpture and ruins, took a more complicated approach to how they dealt with the fragmented, classical past. To them, these fragments offered more than a glimpse of a lost, idealized culture, but instead inspired reection upon the "two eternities" that these remnants represented. In both visual and poetic works, Romantics express both a sorrow for the past, and a glimpse into the future. As Mark Sandy writes in his book on memory and mourning, "Romanticism's fascination with the ruins of ancient civilizations [was] central to voicing a sense of mourning, loss, and grief [but imaginative reconstruction of] these ruins enabled them to endure [their] own mortality amidst the wreck of time and history." So while the 89 romantics still felt the "longing for Greece and Rome" that their predecessors desired, they also strove to move past "idealized" culture in favor of a more personalized and emotional connection to these fragments, especially when considering the use of the imagination in their "reconstruction" of the past. William St. Clair, "The Parthenon and the Elgin Marbles," Imperialism, Art and 88 Restitution Draft of a conference paper, March 23, 2004 9. Mark Sandy, Romanticism, Memory, and Mourning. (Surrey: Ashgate, 2013 ), 7. 89

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! 49 Consider an except from Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, written by Byron as he considered the ruins of Rome: There is the moral of all human tales; 'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past, First Freedom, and then Glorywhen that fails, Wealth, vice, corruption, barbarism at last. And History, with all her volumes vast, Hath but one page 90 These ruins, to Byron, do not "breathe beauty" as Shelley wrote, or represent the perfection that inspired Winkelmann, but instead remind him of the cyclical and destructive nature of man's history. But just as Byron rejects the idealism that inspired Winkelmann he ultimately accepts the power that antiquity has upon the mind. In effect, he reanimates the past, via the imagination, in order to contemplate its effect on the present and the future. These fragments truly create a glimpse into Diderot's ideas of eternity. Shelley takes similar strides in his fragment poem, "The Coliseum," where he, too, explores the effects that the ruins of antiquity have upon the present. As his characters 91 wander the ancient ruins of the Colosseum, Shelley expresses a sight beyond the corruption and failures of the past and instead embraces the scene's "broad and everlasting character of human strength and genius, that pledge of all that is to be admirable and lovely [in] ages yet to come.'" "The Coliseum" becomes an excellent example of the Romantics' complications 92 with the fragment, for the piece presents both an idealistic and personalized view of ancient Rome. Lord George Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Project Guttenberg (2004) 4:108. 90 Kevin Bineld, "May They Be Divided Never': Ethics, History, and the Rhetorical 91 Imagination in Shelley's The Coliseum,'" Keats-Shelley Journal 46 (1997): 129. Bineld quoting Shelley, 128-9. 92

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! 50 The poem depicts two characters, a daughter and her blind father, entering the Colosseum during the feast of the Passover. As they sit in reverence, they are approached by a young, ghost-like gure in "strange, but splendid" dress. The gure asks the pair how they feel about the ruins, to which the blind man replies, "I see nothing." The young man takes great offense, feeling that something should be felt when surrounded by such fantastic, ancient ruins, but soon repents when he realizes the old man is blind. The old man asks his daughter to describe their surroundings, which she does to the best of her ability, noting that much of what she sees is beyond description. Her father then gives a deeper and more imaginative explanation of the ruins, inspiring both his daughter and the young, ghostly stranger. The piece ends unresolved, as the young man proclaims the pair as worthy of his time and conversation. From the rst line of the piece, Shelley demonstrates the complications that arise when looking at the past. Setting the piece during the Passover reminds the characters, and us as the readers, of the temporal distance we have travelled from the ruins themselves. By referencing this passage of time, Shelley is reminding us that, in reality, ruins are an unreadable representation of antiquity and one through which we see and construct as a "mirror to the present." Shelley is very aware of the unattainable nature of the past, 93 lamented by Winkelmann and others, but instead of mourning the loss, Shelley offers another way to reconstruct and reanimate this ancient sitethrough the imagination. Shelley expertly guides us through this reconstruction process using the blind father and his daughter as references. Once the pair realize they are in the Colosseum, the old man asks his daughter to describe what she sees. Her response is descriptive, yet formulaic, as she Thomas, 80. 93

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! 51 relies on her senses to build up a visual scene for her father. As she describes the moss surrounding the arches, however, Shelley displays the real power that ruins can have upon the mind. "What else see you?" "Only the bright-green mossy ground, speckled by tufts of dewy clover-grass that run into the interstices of the shattered arches, and round the isolated pinnacles of the ruin." "Like the lawny dells of soft short grass which wind among the pine forests and precipices in the Alps of Savoy?" "Indeed, father, your eye has a vision more serene than mine." "And the great wrecked arches, the shattered masses of precipitous ruins, overgrown with the younglings of the forest, and more like chasms rent by an earthquake among the mountains, than like the vestige of what was human workmanshipwhat are they?" "Things awe-inspiring and wonderful." "Are they not caverns such as the untamed elephant might choose, and the Indian wilderness, wherein to hide her cubs; such as, were the sea to overow the earth, the mightiest monsters of the deep would change into their spacious chambers?" 94 By contrasting the two characters' respective "vision" of the space, Shelley offers a way to deal with the shattered, unapproachable past. While the daughter's descriptions are clear and concise, she relies on her senses and can only see a limited view of the ruins around her. Her father, on the other hand, "sees nothing but understands much" and is able to make the ruins of the Colosseum come alive again with his imaginative possibilities. 95 Shelley's two characters also become gurative stand-ins for his own development of thought concerning knowledge and "truth." As a follower of Locke and the ideas of empiricism, early in his career Shelley had a clear understanding of how valuable the senses, Percy Shelley, "The Coliseum," The Prose Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley ed. Richard 94 Shepherd, vol 1 (London: Chatto and Windus, 1906), 397. Bineld, 132. 95

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! 52 primarily sight, were when seeking to have an authentic experience in the search for truth. 96 But he also came to recognize that sight and language can fall short when faced with things beyond expression by empirical means, and therefore realized that he must turn inward for a deeper understanding. Anne Janowitz notes that "throughout Shelley's poetry there is a tension between a desire to express an underlying and latent truth,' that truth seen through' the visible world, as well as a sense of the inadequacy of any language to make the expression reducible to a written formulation." This tension between the visible/empirical, 97 and the invisible/inexpressible is perfectly represented in the character of the daughter. At one point she remarks,"I was on the point of inquiring the way to that building, when we entered this circle of ruins, and, until the stranger accosted us, I remained silent, subdued by the greatness of what I see." Here is a character, obviously eloquent in her language of 98 description, but even she has moments where this language is not enough to truly "see" what is surrounding her. Her father, on the other hand, is able to pull out references of "Indian elephants" and "monsters of the deep" that suggest some previous sensory knowledge, but ultimately express the "true" sight of the imagination. The old man, in effect, takes the place of the poet, to call forth images that cannot be seen or expressed via the senses. He, as Coleridge 99 would say, "brings the whole soul of man into activity" via his use of the imaginationable Angela Leighton, Shelley and the Sublime: An Interpretation of the Major Poems, 96 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1984 ), 1. Anne Janowitz, "Shelley's Monument to Ozymandias." Philological Quarterly 63 no. 4 97 (Fall 11984): 484. Shelley, 396. 98 Thomas, 73. 99

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! 53 to see beyond the limits of his daughter or even time and into the future. In more general 100 terms Janowitz explains, "the poet nds meaning amidst ruins by an intuition that makes coherent the remnants of a formally coherent world. The thrilling secrets' which ash on the poet's vacant mind,' his receptive mind, cannot be named, but only alluded to." Shelley, 101 through his characters, is able to mirror his own progression from limited empiricism to the "poetic whole" found in Romantic thought. As he does this, he is able to reanimate these ruins in a way that no empirical model could have ever done. Moving beyond the setting and the characters, the form of the story itself is also telling of Shelley's overall read of ancient Rome. Calling his work, a "fragment of a Romance" again calls attention to the unknowable nature of history and reiterates this "inexpressible" idea he presented though his characters. Janowitz, when discussing the fragment poem, notes, "The fragment, while positively open-ended, also bears the burden of incompletion and so is often linked to the inexpressibility problem." So while the fragment 102 form offers limitless possibilities to the imagination for reconstruction, it also limits the expression of the poet himself. The poet (as represented in the old man) may be able to ll in the gaps of the story, but the rest of us are left to simply sit in silence unable to express our feelings when faced with these limitless possibilities. It is clear that to both Byron and Shelley the classical ruin was more than merely a tie to a "perfect time" or a sample of an imagined ideal. Rather, the ruin inspired them due to its lack of perfection and open potentiality. In this way, Thomas asserts, "ruins offer an obvious Samuel Coleridge, "Biographia Literaria" in Romanticism ed Duncan Wu (Oxford: Wiley100 Blackwell, 2012) 714. Janowitz, "Shelley's Monument to Ozymandias," (485). 101 Janowitz, England's Ruins 7. 102

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! 54 site for mourning lost cultures, but also [] offer a certain reective distance from the past that can inform the construction of new onesthey speak for a certain freedom from the past and constraints that its traditions impose upon the present." This open potentiality ignited 103 the Romantic imagination. The viewer was invited to focus on what Grant F. Scott calls the "patches of virtuosity which still remain," and imaginatively reconstruct "the missing fragments (not, however, without retaining a sense of their incompleteness)." The 104 ambivalent and paradoxical connection of the "part" and the "imagined whole" would have spoken to the Romantic mind, and thus, Romantic poets and artists partially rejected the idealistic and distanced insights brought down to them via Winkelmann and other Enlightenment thinkers. However, considering the effects of classical sculpture upon the mind, the Romantics didn't reject the power of these works outright. Take, for instance, John Keats' reaction to seeing the Elgin Marbles for the rst time. In March of 1817, Benjamin Robert Haydon took the poet to the British museum to see the collection that, as documented in his encounter with Benjamin West above, inspired the painter in his own development of form and beauty. Keats was so overwhelmed by the "eternal beauty" of the Elgin marbles that he could not put into words his feelings. One friend described Keats' reaction to the marbles as such: "He went again and again to see the Elgin marbles and would sit for an hour or more at a time beside them rapt in reverie. On one such occasion [a friend] came upon the young poet with eyes shining so brightly and face Thomas, 52-3. 103 Grant F. Scott, "Beautiful Ruins: The Elgin Marbles Sonnet in Its Historical and 104 Generic Contexts," Keats-Shelley Journal 39 (1990): 131

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! 55 so lit up by some visionary rapture, that he stole quietly away." Keats, later, was able to 105 write two sonnets that expressed his connection with these classical piecesone of which was "On Seeing the Elgin Marbles." This sonnet does not present a grand experience with classical beauty or ideal forms. Instead, Keats' focus was the personalized effects that the pieces had upon his mind and imagination. 106 Keats' sonnet becomes the perfect example of the complicated views the Romantics had with classical history. Within the poem, the poet vacillates between his sorrow and hope as he considers the fact that all things must end. But he also recognizes that if these pieces antiquity can survive, so can humanity. Keats begins: My spirit is too weakmortality Weighs on me like unwilling sleep And each imagined pinnacle and steep Of godlike hardship tells me I must die Like a sick eagle looking at the sky. 107 Keats' rst reaction to these fragmented pieces of history is very similar to that of others before him. These "ruins" represent the endless ow of time that will eventually catch up with him. He is reminded of his own frailty, "like a sick eagle," full of so much potential power, yet he is left to merely "look at the sky" and not act. The section emphasizes his own personal feelings, and by doing so, marks the differing response that Romantics had with antiquity in comparison to earlier art poems. This entire section makes no mention of the Marbles themselves, only what the marbles inspire him to reect upon. Hence, Keats again Matthew Gumpert, "Keats' TO HAYDEN, WITH A SONNET WRITTEN ON 105 SEEING THE ELGIN MARBLES and ON SEEING THE ELGIN MARBLES," Explicator 58, 1 (1999): 20. Gumpert, 19. 106 John Keats, "On Seeing the Elgin Marbles," in The Longman Anthology of Poetry ed. 107 Lynne McMahon and Averill Curdy (New York: Palgrave, 2006) lines 1-4.

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! 56 demonstrates the shift in Romanticism from an idealized celebration of Greek culture to the power of a personal experience. The poem continues: Yet 'tis a luxury to weep That I have not the cloudy winds to keep Fresh for the opening of the morning's eye. Such dim-conceived glories of the brain Bring round the heart an indescribable feud; So do these wonders a most dizzy pain, That mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude 108 This section shifts in tone, remarking that it is a "luxury to weep" or a luxury to recognize our own mortality. Keats sees that maybe his eventual death is actually a blessing, for because of his impending mortality, he is able to appreciate his life. This section also nally brings into play the Marbles themselves, as he mentions this "indescribable feud" that sculptures inspired within his heart and mind. Here again, there is no grand explanation of ideal Greek forms; only the quiet personal exploration of the idea of death versus immortality and a simple reverence for the Marbles "grandeur" and history. The sonnet clearly shows the personal connection the Romantics had with classical works. Their appreciation stemmed from more than the beautiful shapes and forms that can be seen, but into the inspiring power that such pieces created within the mind and imagination. Keats ends the poem by opening up his thoughts beyond his internal struggle and makes a larger statement about the passage of time. He says; Wasting of old timewith a billowy main A suna shadow of a magnitude. 109 These two lines again emphasize the Romantics' complicated relationship with the past. Here the "billowy main" represents the unending nature of change, just as the sea is unchanging Keats, "On Seeing the Elgin Marbles," lines 5-12. 108 Keats, "On Seeing the Elgin Marbles," lines 13-14. 109

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! 57 (as well as referencing the ships that brought the marbles to England) and "wasted time" recalls this idea of an incomplete knowledge of the past. But with the reference of the sun and shadow, Keats reminds us of the power of the unknown (specically in regards to the past and future). There is something more powerful in play, when looking at these examples of Greek history, than even the Romantic imagination can comprehend. There is no doubt that classical history affected Romantic thinkers like Keats, but as Keats' poem so elegantly displays theirs was a personalized and emotional connection, one that looked at the past as an exploration into the unknown and inspired visions of the future. So, as we move on from the classical fragment, there is no doubt that the Romantics valued classical history. But, their view of the past was much more open and imaginative than the seemingly rigid and scientic minds of the enlightenment. The Romantics saw the classical fragment as a vehicle of exploration, that inspired reections on the past as well as their own connections to the future. And whether these explorations led to a reection of their own mortality, the cyclical nature of human history, or the power of the poet's imagination, the Romantics, in their own works concerning the classics, clearly move beyond the idealism of Winckelmann and into the realm of limitless possibilities. The British Ruin As mentioned in the previous section, one of the reasons the concept of ideal form was so widely accepted during the Enlightenment was to prevent the "terrible" possibilities of "localized taste." Again, the Romantics took a more complicated approach. Due to a 110 developing sense of nationalism coupled with Romantic ideas surrounding a personal, authentic experience with history, many began to see the fragmented ruins within their own Chard, 20. 110

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! 58 borders as equal in consideration to those of Greece and Rome. It is also important to note that travel was limited during this time, due to the Napoleonic wars and other skirmishes throughout Europe, and as such, many Brits decided to nish their education by exploring their own country. So, along with these shifting ideas and increased domestic travel, came a re-evaluation of the ruins (especially Gothic ruins) surrounding them everyday. This section will examine the Romantic shift towards the "British" fragment (in particular the ruin) as seen in Romantic works, specically in reference to how these works show their veneration of nature, their more personalized and emotional renderings, and their response to the developing nationalism within Britain. Although Keats saw "grandeur" and Shelley "perfection" within the ruins of classical antiquity, there was also something very aesthetically pleasing about the British gothic ruins for the Romantic imagination. J. H. Pott noted, In the venerable state of the ruin, there is an awful romantic wildness in the Gothic remains, that moves the mind very powerfully.' Compared to classical ruins, the Gothic pileloses less of its property to the devastation of time. The ivied arch,the shattered turret, will perhaps gather new charms, when detached from the whole We deplore the ravage of time; but beholding the Gothic ruin, every idea of this kind is lost in the rst impression, in the sentiments of awe and enthusiasm.' 111 So the Gothic ruin, in particular, spoke to the Romantic mind in a unique way, due to the visual symbolism the Romantics saw in nature swallowing up their own recognizable past. It was no secret that the Romantics loved and valued nature, esteeming it with a moralizing power over the mind. Coleridge mentioned in a letter to his friend George Dyer: "It is melancholy to think that the best of us are liable to be shaped and colored by surrounding Pott quoted by Louis Hawes, "Constable's Haleigh Castle and British Romantic Ruin 111 Painting," The Art Bulletin 65, no. 3 (1983): 468-9.

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! 59 objectsand a demonstrative proof that man was not made to live in great cities!The pleasures which we receive from rural beauties are of little consequence compared with the moral effect of these pleasures." This moralizing forceenveloping their "own" ruins 112 reminds the Romantics of the all-powerful quality of nature, where even their own history is swallowed up by it. Many British ruin paintings represent this battle between nature and the creations of man. Consider one of Joseph William Mallord Turner's early works, Cilgerran Castle (1798-99, Fig. 4), for instance. This painting was one of several oil and watercolor works produced from the artist's travels to south Wales in 1798. He presents the ancient ruin with 113 an air of mystery and danger, as the castle looms from behind the dark forest in the foreground. The trees seem to swallow the castle, and a lone gure, barely discernible from the foliage, walks with his back to us, emphasizing the overwhelming loneliness of the scene. With such a small representative of humanity (as seen in the gure), as well as the forest overwhelming man's creations, the viewer can't help but see the small place he or she holds in nature as well as time. In comparison to the permanence of nature, humanity's hold is small. So, to the Romantics, the fragmented ruin evoked simultaneously power of nature as well as the ephemerality of man. As Thomas puts it, "Ruins implied an important moral 114 lesson (humility) at the same time as they spoke for the restorative and ameliorative power of nature over human sin,' and the subjection of all the world's things to the cycle of death Samuel Coleridge, "Letter from S. T. Coleridge to George Dyer, 10 March 1795," in 112 Romanticism ed. Duncan Wu (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 619. Gabrielle Crepaldi, Turner, (Munich: Prestel, 201 1), 38. 113 Janowitz, "Shelley's Monument to Ozymandias ," 483. 114

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! 60 and birth, degeneration and regeneration.'" These ruin images became symbolic references 115 to the British Romantic ideas concerning nature as well as reminded them of their small place within the natural history of the earth. The symbolic power of British ruin images also manifested a maturing love for the land itself, for as nature "reclaim[ed] the stones" of these ruins, it also reiterated the "the physical situation of cultural ruins with the countryside." Thus, with this connection 116 Thomas, 64. 115 Anne F. Janowitz, England's Ruins: Poetic Purpose and the Romantic Landscape 116 (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1990), 3-4. Figure 4 Joseph William Mallord Turner, Cilgerran Castle, 1799-1800

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! 61 between nature and the nation's ruins came a strong link between the rhetoric of the ruin and that of the land itself. Janowitz notes that "this turned out to be fortunate in the creation of British Nationalism: as assimilated into the later eighteenth-century aesthetic of the picturesque, ruins were admired as blending in to the countryside, while the sense of country' as rural terrain and country' as a nation also began to melt one into the other." 117 Thus, with these associations between the land and the nation came a greater appreciation for the physical ruins residing in on that land. Whether "castle or abbey," these structures evoked "Britishness." In effect, the domestic ruin (and its imagery) became important to the 118 British, due to more than just Romantic expressions of nature; it became a symbol that evoked a national antiquity to which all of Britain belonged. 119 From another viewpoint, these British ruins dotting the landscape around the Romantics became physical traces of Britain's past simultaneously reminding them of their national history as well as granting them a certain authority that comes with antiquity. In 120 other words, as Janowitz asserts, these ruins served "as the visible guarantor of the antiquity of the nation." Ruins became a physical manifestation of a history that accentuated the idea of "our" and "my" land. Anthony Smith describes the phenomenon of "belonging" or "attachment" as "part of the ideology of modern nationalism itself, whose founding fathers, Rousseau and Herder, stressed the need to immerse themselves in nature', hence in natural' communities like nations." So these ruins that dotted the landscape connected one village 121 Janowitz, England's Ruins: Poetic Purpose and the Romantic Landscape, 3-4. 117 Janowitz, England's Ruins: Poetic Purpose and the Romantic Landscape, 1. 118 Janowitz, England's Ruins: Poetic Purpose and the Romantic Landscape 1. 119 Janowitz, England's Ruins: Poetic Purpose and the Romantic Landscape 3. 120 Smith, 90. 121

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! 62 to next, promoting this "unied nation" or "unied community" to its citizens. And even more symbolically powerful to the Romantic sensibility, in Janowitz's analogy "as ivy climbs up and claims the stonework, it also binds culture to nature, presenting the nation under the aspect of nature, and so suggesting nation permanence." When looked at from 122 this perspective, ruin images simultaneously evoke both the longevity and eeting qualities of the nation in their connection to naturea paradox that the imaginative and conscientious Romantics would have appreciated. For, as stated before, their relationship with history was complicated. But through the Romantic imagination, the Romantics could have appreciated both possibilities simultaneously, suggesting another way in which Diderot's "two eternities" manifested itself within Romantic thought. So as we have seen, the Romantics' consideration of fragments beyond the classical as worthy of study was a result of a deepening appreciation for nature and a greater sense of nationalism, but the fragmented ruin also became a powerful medium for self-expression. Smith mentions that along with "the new nationalist vision, the idea of authenticity' was regarded not just as signaling what is mine', my own' and nobody else's, or ours' alone, but as that which is original', innate' and pristine' to us, stripped of all later accretions, and therefore true', genuine' and real'." So, accompanying the shift towards nationhood was 123 a movement towards the authentic experience. One of the ways this authenticity manifested itself within painting was through a greater, more assertive use of self-expression. John Constable's Hadleigh Castle Mouth of the ThamesMorning After a Stormy Night (1829, Janowitz, England's Ruins: Poetic Purpose and the Romantic Landscape, 54. 122 Smith, 90. 123

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! 63 Fig. 5) is an excellent example of a painter using the ruin image as a way of portraying his own emotions and feelings. By the time Constable painted this work, ruin paintings were quite popular. But for at least the rst three-quarters of his career, Constable showed little desire to paint the subject. The majority of his works to that point represented the beautiful Stour Valley, 124 which he portrayed as peaceful and picturesque. So this work, presented to the academy in 1829, seemed to be a drastic break from his previous subject matter. Here, the ruined stronghold is prominently displayed, not set in an idyllic scene of nature but in a sloped, rocky, and dangerous terrain against the backdrop of a turbulent sky. The mood is overwhelmingly melancholy, where even the small character with his dog in the foreground walks by the ruin with his head hung low. This shift in subject matter and mood is often associated by art historians and critics with the premature death of his young wife to consumption. Her death clearly affected the painter, as he was said to dress in mourning for the remainder of his life. He wrote in 125 December of 1828, "Hourly do I feel the loss of my dearly departed Angel I shall never feel again as I have felt, the face of the world is totally changed to me." This change in 126 mind and spirit is felt in the very emotional rendering of the ruin. His strokes seem agitated and his colors evoke a less-than-natural depiction of the land. To the normally empiricallyminded Constable, these changes clearly represented an emotional shift within the painter. Whether it was his original intention or not, this fragmented ruin became a way to visually Louis Hawes, "Constable's Haleigh Castle and British Romantic Ruin Painting," The 124 Art Bulletin 65, no. 3 (1983): 455 Hawes, 456. 125 Hawes, 456. 126

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! 64 express his grief and inner turmoil. His powerful mode of expression leaves an impact on us as viewers, who feel the grief and melancholy by merely looking at the work, even without knowing beforehand of the painter's personal struggles. The fragmented ruin, as a subject, evoked these emotions merely by being fragmented. As Louis Hawes writes, "both actual ruins and ruin landscapes had long aroused associations with the transience of human life and man's handiwork. As Chateaubriand wrote in 1802, one tends to sense a secret conformity between destroyed monuments and brevity of our existence.' The silent, decayed remains of buildings that once thronged with life are reminders of the unstoppable triumph of ravishing time,' however visually imposing some Figure 5 John Constable, Hadleigh Castle, The Mouth of the Thames, 1829

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! 65 ruins remain." Constable's presentation of the subject portrayed his own personal brush 127 with the frailty of human life, but it also referenced the larger impact that these images had upon the British Romantic mind, as they sought for an authentic and emotional experience with the world. Turner, too, is known for his expressive and emotional renderings, especially in his landscapes. Using a loose and painterly style, Turner's scenes are lled with emotion and energy. To Ronald Paulson, Turner's landscapes exemplied the change that occurred during Romanticism, "from description to self-expression," from "topography or emblematization toward landscapes of the mind.'" German Romantic, Heinrich Fuseli, also mentioned 128 these two types of landscape renderings as either "the tame delineation of a spot" a "kind of map work" or "landscapes that express large general concepts such as height, depth, solitude, [which] strike, absorb, and bewilder, in their scenery.'" Just as in poetry, Turner 129 relied on more than the senses to create his works. He tapped into "ashes of the imagination," which manifested themselves in his diffusion of light and color, and like Shelley's old man, took the viewer into his experience of the worldcreating a deeply personalized and "sublime" connection. For instance, in comparing the usual techniques 130 used by Turner and Constable, The Examiner (1819) felt that Constable "does not give a sentiment, a soul to the exterior of Nature'; he represents only her outward look, her Hawes, 466-7. 127 Ronald Paulson, Literary Landscape, Turner and Constable (New Haven and London: 128 Yale UP, 1982) 9. Pauslon quoting Fuseli, 47. 129 A.C. Swanepeol, "Coleridge's Transcendental Imagination: The Seascape beyond the 130 Senses in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,'" Journal of Literary Studies 26, no. 1 (2010): 199-200.

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! 66 complexion and physical countenance.' Put differently, much as Ruskin would later in the century, Turner and Wordsworth start with Nature's outward look,' but then dissolve it with a certain coloring of the imagination.'" This search for the sublime became a denitive 131 marker of Turner's work, especially his later work, as he explored the use of the imagination in painting. Take for instance, two ruin paintings of the same scene by Turner, Norham Castle, Sunris e (1798, Fig. 6) and Norham Castle, Sunrise (1845, Fig, 7), painted nearly 50 years apart. These two works become an excellent case study of Turner's evolution toward and presentation of this personalized "sublime" rendering. The earlier work, reects the landscape as "map work" where everything, as Sir Thomas Reynolds would say, is "carefully and distinctly expressed." Reminiscent of earlier Claudian landscapes, this scene is clearly 132 open to view. The viewer is able to easily follow the line of the river back to the ruin itself, which sits in the distance overlooking the land below. The image seems straightforward and "distinctively expresses" what can be seen by the eye. Even in his later years, Turner realized the importance of a study of nature in creating a scene, and while his technique shifted over time, this foundation of sensory experience with nature never left truly him. In fact, after his death, his studio still held 19,000 sketches of natural scenes and classical perspectives. But his notes on the old masters reveal that he felt that basic sensory expressions are not "what a creative mind [is] impressed by," instead he sought an "elevation of the mind" 133 Quoted in Thomas, 119. 131 Matthew Brennan quoting Reynolds, Wordsworth, Turner, and the Romantic 132 Landscape, A Study of the Traditions of the Picturesque and the Sublime (Columbia, South Carolina: Camden House, 1987) 19. Lawerence Gowing, Turner: Imagination and Reality, (New York: The Museum of 133 Modern Art, 1966), 19

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! 67 Figure 6 Joseph William Mallord Turner, Norham Castle, Sunrise, 1798 Figure 7 Joseph William Mallord Turner, Norham Castle Sunrise, 1845

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! 68 via the sublime. The sublime, although referenced before Romanticism took hold, became 134 one of the Romantics key theoretical principles that guided them in their understanding of the world and inuenced their creative output. Matthew Brennan denes the sublime as a moment "when the ash of the Imaginationput[s] out the light of sense,' which binds the mind to the phenomenal world," and then dissolves "external reality" into the "invisible world of the sublime consciousness." "These dissolving lights emanate from the 135 imagination of the perceiving consciousness, which, in the sublime moment, feels itself innitely diffused through its own inner prospect, an inexpressibly indeterminate vastness whose power seems divine." Put another way, it is the moment when the external senses 136 are overwhelmed by the contemplation of an object or scene, leading to a moment of individual crisis, where the viewer's sense of self (that is formed sensually) is dissolved into feelings of fear and indescribable awe. But how could Turner possibly feel that he could create a sublime experience by using the a landscape? The landscape, after all, rarely elicited reactions of fear and awe. The Picturesque tradition that was popular until this time, created landscapes that were quaint and lovely not terrifying. But, as Matthew Brennan writes, quoting the artist, Turner understood what effects he needed to create to "leave things to the imagination, to oppose the very xed and indispensable rulethat everything shall be carefully and distinctly expressed. Sublimitydepends on obscurity," and Turner's diffusing techniques helped create that Andrew Wilton, Turner and the Sublime, (Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1980) 10. 134 Brennan, 117. 135 Brennan, 77. 136

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! 69 effect in his works. Turner shows these new painterly and diffused techniques in his 137 painting of Norham Castle done ve decades later, and at the height of the Romantic era. This site and scene have been completely dissolved into light and colormore is left to the imagination than to the senses. The ruin simultaneously gains and loses form in the mists surrounding it, and as it does so, it becomes a looming presence of unknowability. We, as the viewers, can never truly grasp what we are seeing. The ruin nds meaning within this paradox. That is why it is such an excellent subject is manifesting the sublime. It is complete as well as incomplete. Limitless as well as whole. As Brennan writes, "the [ruin] of consciousness no longer lies in external landscape; rather it now inheres in the mind's own inner vastnessan inarticulate, ungraspable image." Turner's later Norham Castle served 138 not as a "record of external reality" like his earlier work, "but as a vehicle for conveying" ideas such as the sublime and the inexpressible nature of the fragment. 139 Turner and Constable both used the British fragment as a medium for self-expression. This idea, along with a growing British nationalism and veneration for nature, forced the Romantics to look beyond classical antiquity for expressions of how they viewed history. This complicated look at the fragment as a representation of history is presented in their works as both classical and national, expressible and inexpressible, reliant on the senses and the imagination, evoking both melancholy and joy, and is a window into the past as well as the future. As the Romantics seek to reconcile all of these contradictory feelings inspired by the fragment, they seem acknowledge that it is acceptable not to know all of the answers. Brennan, 19. 137 Brennan, 21. 138 Brennan, 49. 139

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! 70 Like Keats' "sick eagle looking at the sky," there is a sort of peace that comes when you embrace the unknown. Just at the fragment itself can never truly be recovered, so do the Romantics feel about history. To them they are inspired by a just "brush with historicity" 140 that allows them to have a personal encounter with "two eternities." Thomas, 61. 140

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! 71 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION As Shelley expressed the "breathing" power of Rome to his friend, the two sides of him pulled the writer in opposite directions. As he tried to reconcile these two sides, his former empirical mindset and his more imaginative (poetic) Romantic side, he ultimately felt that in order to "drink" in the power of what he was seeing he must accept both, and therefore, ultimately be left unsettled and unresolved. Similar to the effects of the fragment poem, the Romantics resolved their complications with the fragment by simply not resolving them. They were happy to leave their views open, expressing both limitlessness and the limited, both ephemerality and timelessness, both the past and the future. They even absorbed some of the empirical and idealistic tendencies of their Enlightenment forebears (see Wordsworth's exploration of the museum and Haydon's naturalistic, idealism) while simultaneously rejecting all that classical idealism represented. And though they never do seem to come to an agreement as to how to read the fragment, there are some tendencies that set the Romantics apart. For instance, they generally sought a deeply personal and emotional connection with history over a distanced and exclusively idealized relationship. They also saw beauty in fragments from places beyond the Greek and Roman world, especially in nature's connection to their country's Gothic ruins. And most importantly, they saw the critical importance of the imagination in "reanimating" the fragments of the past in order to understand them. The Romantics saw and felt the power of Diderot's two eternities, but to them, they saw more than an irretrievable pastthey saw their own connection with time and how they t in the world.

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! 72 REFERENCES Ashton, John. English Caricature and Satire on Napoleon I. New York and London: Benjamin Blom, 1968. Baker, Samuel. Written on the Water. Charlottesville, Virginia UP: 2010. Bloom, Harold, "Napoleon and Prometheus: The Romantic Myth of Organic Energy." Yale French Studies 26, (1960): 79-82. Bloom, Harold. Ruin the Sacred Truths: Poetry and Belief from the Bible to the Present. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1989. Bineld, Kevin. "May They Be Divided Never': Ethics, History, and the Rhetorical Imagination in Shelley's The Coliseum.'" Keats-Shelley Journal 46 (1997): 125-147. Bradley, Arthur. "Shelley's Eye: Travel Writing and Aesthetic Vision." Byron Journal 34 no. 1 (June 2006): 73+. Brennan, Matthew. W ordsworth, Turner, and the Romantic Landscape, A Study of the Traditions of the Picturesque and the Sublime Columbia, South Carolina: Camden House, 1987. Byron, Lord George. Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. Project Guttenberg, 2004. Chard, Chloe. "Nakedness and Tourism: Classical Sculpture and the Imaginative Geography of the Grand Tour." Oxford Art Journal 18 no. 1 (1995):14-28. Cheeke, Stephen. "Romantic Hellenism, sculpture and Rome." Word & Image 25 no. 1 (2009): 1-10. Cheeke, Stephen. "What So Many Have Told, Who Would Tell Again?': Romanticism and the Commonplaces of Rome." European Romantic Review 17 no. 5 (2006): 521-541. Colbert, Benjamin. Shelley's Eye. Hants, Ashgate: 2005. Coleridge, Samuel. "Biographia Literaria." in Romanticism, ed. Duncan Wu. Oxford, WileyBlackwell: 2012 Coleridge, Samuel. "Letter from S. T. Coleridge to George Dyer, 10 March 1795." in Romanticism, ed. Duncan Wu. Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell: 2012 Coleridge, Samuel. "Letter from S. T. Coleridge to Thomas Poole, 16 October 1797." in Romanticism, ed. Duncan Wu. Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell: 2012

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! 76 Weinshenker, Anne Betty. "Diderot's Use of the Ruin-Image." Diderot Studies 16 (1973): 309-329. Wilton, Andrew. Turner in His Time. Thames and Hudson, New York: 2006 Wilton, Andrew. Turner and the Sublime. Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario: 1980. Wood, Gillian D'Arcy. The Shock and the Real: Romanticism and Visual Culture 1760-1860. New York: Palgrave, 2001. Wordsworth, William. The Prelude ed. Johnathon Wordsworth, M. H. Abrams, and Stephen Gill. New York: Norton, 1979