In a visual profile of architect Rafael de Cardenas in this weeks NYT Style magazine, in a tiny blurb he references Edmund Burke’s 1757 ‘A Philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful’, stating that he regularly references Burkes rules of the sublime in his work. OK, what’s he talking about.
Scurrying to the pithy Wikipedia entry, it describes how in 1757 Burke defined the distinction between the two – to quote: ‘In short, the Beautiful is what is well-formed and aesthetically pleasing, whereas the Sublime is what has the power to compel and destroy us.’
Got me right there at ‘compel and destroy us’, kind of startled me during morning coffee. Have to follow up on this assertion.