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Call for Contributions: The Sublime in Early Modern Theories of Art, Architecture and the Theatre

Guest editors S. Bussels & B. Van Oostveldt

Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society


For this special issue of Lias we welcome proposals that focus on the appropriation of the Longinian sublime in theories of art, architecture and theatrical performances in the period prior to Burke and Kant. In contrast with previous studies on the visual sublime in Early Modernity, our primary focus will not be put on the analysis of works of art, but on the studia humanitatis and the new understandings of how artists could move their audience maximally. Already in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Europe, the treatise Peri hupsous (On the Sublime) by pseudo-Longinus was a crucial text to form humanist ideas on the overpowering effect of visual media. Thus the special issue of Lias addresses the earliest theories on the overwhelming agency of these visual media since Antiquity.

This project is part of the ERC starting grant program ‘Elevated Minds. The Sublime in the Public Arts in Seventeenth-Century Paris and Amsterdam’  (

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