11 Feb 2016
05 Sep 2016


Centre Pompidou-Metz

This exhibition explores the ambivalent fascination that the turmoil of the elements exerts on us. In 1757, philosopher Edmund Burke summarised this “sort of mixed passion of terror and surprise,”1 in one word, “Sublime.” It expresses the marriage of attraction and repulsion we feel when we face the furies of nature, our mixed feelings of astonishment, loneliness, omnipotence and fear when we are confronted with its unfolding. Seas unleashed by storms, awakenings of volcanoes, immaculate white cliffs and dark valleys became the trademark features of this sublime iconography in Romantic period literature and painting.

Through nearly 300 pieces, films and documents compiled by the collections of international museums, including the Arts Council, British Museum, Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Fonds Maurice & Katia Krafft, Cinémathèque Française, BNF, Nevada Art Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the exhibition investigates the renewal of the concept of the Sublime as a muse to the 18th century in a contemporary context, bringing together the works of over a hundred artists worldwide, from Léonard de Vinci to Richard Misrach, including William Turner, Agnes Denes and Lars von Trier. 

General information

Centre Pompidou-Metz
1, parvis des Droits-de-l’Homme
CS 90490
F-57020 Metz Cedex 1

Tel: +33 (0)3 87 15 39 39The Centre Pompidou-Metz is open every day, including public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays and May 1st.



Hélène Guenin, Head of Programming, Centre Pompidou-Metz Assisted by Hélène Meisel, Research Officer, Centre Pompidou-Metz 


Diane Junqua : diane@claudinecolin.com