The Turbulent Mind: Madness, Moods and Melancholy in the Art of the Nineteenth Century
Ghent, Museum of Fine Arts,
In collaboration with the Research Platform XIX and the European Society for Nineteenth-Century Art
May 16-17, 2014
With the support of the Research Foundation - Flanders, Flemish Art Collection, Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, Dutch Postgraduate School for Art History (OSK), Ghent University - Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
On May 7, 1824, Eugène Delacroix wrote in his diary: “I do not care for reasonable painting at all. I can see that my turbulent mind needs agitation, needs to free itself, to try a hundred different things before reaching the goal whose tyrannous call everywhere torments me. (...) If I am not quivering like a snake in the hands of Pythoness, I am cold; I must recognize it and submit to it; and to do so is happiness.”
In these lines, Delacroix evoked the age-old theme of the mad artist, tormented but divinely inspired, balancing on the verge of insanity and genius. The attraction of this idea to Delacroix was hardly an isolated phenomenon. The rise of romanticism saw an exploding interest in the irrational and its potential to liberate the arts, and even the world at large, and this interest resonated throughout the rest of the nineteenth century.
On the occasion of the Théodore Géricault exhibition in the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, the museum joins forces with the Research Platform XIX and the European Society for Nineteenth-Century Art to organise a two-day conference to explore the theme of madness and art in the nineteenth century, a time when artists first deliberately turned for inspiration to the mentally deviant and fully developed the idea of art as an expression of the emotional self. The conference brings together international specialists in the field and deals with both the myth of the artistic temperament and representations of madness, moods or melancholy.
Organising committee: Jan Dirk Baetens (Radboud University, Nijmegen), Koen Brosens (KU Leuven), Rachel Esner (University of Amsterdam), Bruno Fornari (Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent), Jenny Reynaerts (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), Johan De Smet (Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent), Marjan Sterckx (Ghent University) and Cathérine Verleysen (Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent)
Scientific committee: Werner Adriaenssens (Royal Museum of Art and History, Brussels), Maite van Dijk (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam), Mayken Jonkman (RKD, The Hague), Herwig Todts (Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp), Francisca Vandepitte (Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Brussels), Filip Vermeylen (Erasmus University, Rotterdam) and Catherine de Zegher (Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent
Jan Dirk Baetens, Radboud University Nijmegen: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cathérine Verleysen, Museum of Fine Arts Ghent: email@example.com
Admission: € 40 (students € 25)
Includes coffee breaks and lunch on 16 and 17 May
Max. registrations: 100
Registration: Email to firstname.lastname@example.org (mentioning your institutional affiliation), and transfer of the registration fee to:
AGB Kunsten en Design – Botermarkt 1 – B-9000 Ghent – Belgium
IBAN BE11 0910 1974 1448
Mentioning name of participant and ‘The Turbulent Mind’
Confirmation of registration takes place only after receipt of the conference fee.
Languages: English / Français