The Tragic Muse
Art and Emotion, 1700-1900
Distributed for Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago
With contributions by Joyce Cheng, Glenn W. Most, Erin Nerstad, Sarah Nooter, and Thomas Pavel
Art is often appreciated for its ability to delight our eyes and refresh our minds. But it can also serve as a powerful vehicle for exploring darker emotions, such as fear, sadness, and grief. And while these themes have an artistic history dating back to the ancients, the ways in which they have been represented in art has changed dramatically over time.
Published to coincide with an exhibition at the Smart Museum of Art, The Tragic Muse: Art and Emotion, 1700–1900 draws on the scholarship of several distinguished scholars to examine the richly varied representation of tragedy in the European artistic tradition over the course of two centuries. This catalog is generously illustrated with full-color reproductions of all the works contained in the exhibition, and the fascinating contributions offer new insights into the approaches taken by the visual arts, as well as literature and drama, in expressing and eliciting strong emotions.