Book Review: Dark Romanticism

“Romanticism is a grace, celestial or infernal, that bestows us eternal stigmata.”
Charles Baudelaire

In recent years museums have paid quite a bit of attention to the dark side of human emotion, from the brilliant 2006 Czech exhibit “In Morbid Colors,” to the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met in New York, where McQueen’s own darkness was cloaked in an aura of romanticism by the curator Andrew Bolton, to this year’s “Death: A Self-Portrait” at the Welcomme Collection in London.

As part of the ongoing exhibition series called “Romantic Impulse,” the Stadel Museum in Frankfurt au Main, Germany recently held an exhibit called “Dark Romanticism: From Goya to Max Ernst,” which finished last month. But don’t worry if you missed it – the exhibit was accompanied by a three hundred-page catalog, published by Hatje-Cantz, that is hitting the shelves on this side of the pond (the exhibit itself will travel to Musee d’Orsay in Paris this spring).