The Art of the Sublime

ISBN 978-1-84976-387-5

The modern sublime

Mark Rothko 'Black on Maroon' 1958
Mark Rothko
Black on Maroon 1958
Tate T01031
© Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko/DACS 1998
In 1886 the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche declared the sublime out of date. A number of artists of early and mid-twentieth century continued to engage with concepts of the sublime, though often in ways that led ultimately to these ideas being questioned, mocked or spurned. However, it remains possible to locate a distinctively modern sense of the sublime in the works of such artists as Malevich, Rothko, Newman and Smithson.
In this section essays and case studies explore the various ways in which artists responded to the sublime in the twentieth century.

How to cite

‘The modern sublime’, in Nigel Llewellyn and Christine Riding (eds.), The Art of the Sublime, Tate Research Publication, January 2013,, accessed 22 May 2024.