In the 1780s, de Saussure invented the
cyanometer that was subsequently used by Humboldt on his research travels. It
served to determine the blueness of the sky at various altitudes. This article
examines the research context in which this device was used and seeks to trace
an underlying aisthesis materialis (Barck). I raise the question whether
this recourse to a supposed pre–art theory and aesthetic practice can help
establish a better concept of the everyday aesthetics to come.
air; color; high altitude; material
aesthetics; scientific aesthetics; realism
investigation started with plain curiosity. I was interested in the making of a
seemingly odd instrument built in the late eighteenth century, the cyanometer,
designed to determine the blueness of the sky. It appeared in the context of an
era when scientific scrutiny of the natural world started off along the path
that led to today's natural sciences. The World Wide Web abounds with standard
information, mythologies, and creative artistic reuses of the cyanometer. These
show that it is a technical fossil but fail to explain its
epistemological location in the history of the natural sciences or aesthetics.
When I followed the thematic path
taken by the inventor of the cyanometer, Horace Bénédict de Saussure
(1740–1799), and by the most prominent user of the instrument, Alexander von
Humboldt (1769–1859), I encountered the term aisthesis materialis,
introduced by Karlheinz Barck. It expresses the German concern with
an idea of aisthesis that does not necessarily overlap with the parallel
and subsequent academic traditions of aesthetics in other places, from the
early nineteenth century onward. Aisthesis materialis was part of the title of a
publication by Dotzler and Müller in which the editors only used it as a search
term serving to discover traces, not as an established notion. The term has not been discussed
during the twenty years since that publication. In the wake of Welsch’s impulse for
an aisthetic turn, the authors chose aisthesis, in lieu of the
common aesthetics, in reference to Baumgarten’s sensuous cognition and
on the basis of their diagnosis of an eighteenth-century concept of pre–art
theory aesthetics, “the apocryphal continued existence of an aesthetics that is
not limited to the system of the arts.”, They underscored their postulate for
a grounded approach to aesthetics with an excerpt from a project application by
Foucault in which he stressed that, in elaborating theoretical issues, the
reference to a concrete case should never be given up. My interest has been to understand de
Saussure’s and Humboldt’s theoretical curiosity and concrete aisthetic
procedures in their observation of the blue of the sky, a phenomenon that is
clearly not man-made and thus does not fit into the category of artwork.
Thus, my task is twofold: to establish
a hermeneutical account for the historical context of the cyanometer as an
instrument related to an aisthetic natural science, and to discuss the
potential application of aisthesis materialis to this historical case
and to contemporary usage.
2. De Saussure: the cyanometer
What was the concept of the instrument
called the cyanometer that aimed to determine the blue of the sky? It draws all
of its meaning and functionality from the context of scientific endeavors of
the late eighteenth century, from attention to the hues of the atmosphere that
Humboldt traces back to 1765, and from the person of its inventor,
Horace-Bénédict de Saussure of Geneva. A figure of the Enlightenment, he is
known as an indefatigable inventor of instruments and procedures, pioneering
the ascent of Mont Blanc, the highest peak of the Alps. After botanical and zoological
investigations of the mountains, climbing extreme altitudes becomes, beyond the
aesthetics of aristocratic tourists, a scientific endeavor. In descriptions of the expeditions
that became exponentially more frequent from the 1780s onward, picturesque
aesthetic categories are mixed with novel scientific phenomenologies.
Figure 1: One of de Saussure’s
cyanometers, with a fifty-two-shade scale, dated January 1788. Collection Musée
d’histoire des sciences, Geneva, Wikimedia Commons.
The cyanometer is only one of many
inventions by de Saussure. It is a seemingly simple device, a circle made of
cardboard, as shown in Figure 1. Its sophistication lies in its calibration and
use. It serves to link the colors as an outcome of the presence of the
hypothesized opaque turbidity of the atmosphere. What one takes for granted
now, the black sky of outer space, was at that time only a hypothesis. It was
deduced that at high altitudes the decreasing presence of these turbidities would
allow the sky to appear black, even under the sun, as at night. The aesthetic
proof, as it were, was difficult to obtain and required an elevated position of
De Saussure introduced this tool in
his first Mémoires de l'Académie Royale de Turin (Account for the Royal
Academy of Turin, 1788) and in the last volume of his Voyages dans les Alpes
(Travels in the Alps). “In a
nutshell, we had to find a cyanometer or a measure of the blue color,” he
writes in this report, equating in this phrase the tool with the measure. Thus, the cyanometer is an instrument
of which the observer’s vision and the observed phenomenon are part.
Technically, the cyanometer is based on a series of cardboard sheets with
shades of blue that have to be matched with the apparent color of the sky
(Figure 1). A sixteen-element, circular cyanometer was used by de Saussure on
his Mont Blanc expeditions in order to measure the blueness of the sky at high
altitudes and compare it with the hues experienced in the lower atmosphere.
More elaborate models have forty to fifty-three degrees. An experimental
reconstruction by Breidbach and Karliczek offers an excellent extended
discussion of the procedural nature of the tool.
The Claude glass, in use in the same
century, was a device for picturesque contemplation of the environment, that
was sight formatted using pictorial rules. The scrutiny using the cyanometer
has a different systematic because, in Humboldt’s words, “serious knowledge and
more delicate incentives of imagination tend to pervade each other.” Likewise, towards the end of the
eighteenth century, the amateurs using the Claude glass were replaced by the
newly constituted scientists of the environment, the lonely explorer as opposed
to the convivial tourist or the exploring painter. The cyanometer was the
companion of a novel conquest of the physical world, and so the physical
locations and their imaginaries were also different. It aimed at high
altitudes, first with mountaineers and later with balloonists, and the search for
explanations of atmospheric processes replaced the search for enchantment. The
cyanometer represents a natural scientific aisthesis within the realm of
In de Saussure’s Turin reports, the
cyanometer was present along with the diaphanometer, and a kind of photometer
using hydrochloric acid for light intensity measurement. All three devices were
only steps of experimental instrumentation and were abandoned either by de
Saussure himself or by his son Nicolas Théodore, who became a natural scientist
and assumed a role in reviewing Humboldt’s eudiometer project, where the latter
aimed to improve the measurement of aerial oxygen. Whereas the cyanometer is based on a series of
shades of blue, decreasing from the theoretical darkest blue-black of outer space
to a turbid whitish blue, the diaphanometer models states of air transparency,
also in a function of turbidity. Both acts of measurement involve the observer
to an extent that de Saussure was led to take into account the fatigue of the
eye by recommending moments of rest. The hydrochloric acid light intensity
measurements were reported as not being thoroughly satisfying, but their
extension by the systematic exposure of differently colored ribbons, in order
to observe their specific fading, were carried on in the spirit of the first
two procedures and led to relative numerical results. A footnote gives evidence
that de Saussure’s involvement with sense data made him aware of his proximity
to current aesthetics practice:
This phenomenon and several others
that I have been developing in this account explain different practices of
which the painters do not know the motives, but are guided by a kind of
instinct or assiduous study of nature that leads them to sense its suitability.
De Saussure’s recognition of the
painters’ skills is without consequences for his own work, which is based on a
material interest, framed by a realistic ontology, and carried out by means of
sensory cognition. However, his travelogues mirror a plain pictorial aesthetics
of the beautiful. In his review of de Saussure’s volcano research, Alcantara
concludes, from de
Saussure’s report from the exploration of Mount Vesuvius, that “the landscape
aesthetics remains confined to the register of the ‘beautiful effect’ and of
the ‘charming sight’, and in this respect de Saussure never bargains over
superlatives.” Hence the conclusion that, “in the
times of de Saussure, traveling seemed to respond to a complex of therapeutic,
cultural, and glamorous motives apart from scientific ones.
Would a solely aesthetic motivation have justified a tour? Nothing is less
3. Humboldt: toward infographics
Thanks to a plethora of sources,
Alexander von Humboldt’s approach appears more tangible and more complex than
de Saussure’s. His journey to and through Central and South America from 1799
to 1804 is well known, not least from his own very active dissemination of the
narratives in several languages. Humboldt consulted de Saussure in 1795 and
applied cyanometric measurement not only to the colors of high altitudes but to
the sky over the sea and the sea itself, and he sorted the data by altitude and
The ascent of Mount Chimborazo in 1802
that took Humboldt and his companion Bonpland almost to the top can be read as
the follow-up to de Saussure’s Mont Blanc project ambitions and functions. Like
de Saussure, Humboldt was neither a painter nor a geographer. Chemistry was
paradigmatic for his approach to natural phenomena, including reactions of
living bodies to external effects and probably the role of color as indicators
of these processes. In his work, an explicit notion of precision is known by
his reference to Lavoisian chemistry and experimental devices. According to
Dettelbach, “Humboldt set off around the world to measure every possible
quantity, ‘armed’ with every conceivable precise instrument from cyanometers to
barometers, because of the meaning of precision, not a tacit vitalism.” For Humboldt, the instruments were
some sort of precise organs, enhancing the capacity of the human organs, in
order to achieve the analysis of the Totaleindruck, an aesthetic notion
backed by a Pythagorean idea of an objective whole, of the interaction of
animate with inanimate matter. This idea of organic precision in the perception
of the environment now appears as a realistic concept based on a still-lacking
critical epistemology of the senses. Aisthesis materialis in the
Humboldtian spirit is grounded, as the term indicates, in a material vision of
the external world and the project of its thorough quantification. The artwork
aspect, if this analogy is permitted, is the scientific product computed from
the collected data.
Figure 2: Lithograph Geographie der
Pflanzen in den Tropen-Ländern (Plant Geography in the Tropics; Humboldt
& Bonpland 1807), source: Humboldt University of
Berlin, University Library
The lithograph from Geographie der
Pflanzen in Figure 2 opens the path to grasping the importance of change
and the assessment of the divide between art-bound aesthetics and aisthesis
materialis. One might call this illustration of the outline of the climax
of the Andes from Humboldt’s plant geography an ancestor of scientific
infodesign: a colored schematic cross-section of the main ridge, as if cut
through in the manner of mining prospection, showing the plants and their names
in a life-like weather ambience. Here, not only the mountains are vertically
structured, the sky, too, is layered in shades of blue, from clear at the
bottom to dark at the top. Upon closer inspection, one notices the
spreadsheet-like information laid out to the left and the right in accordance
with the altitudes represented that is not given in most reproductions. In the
sky to the right of the mountain range, above the cloud line, is written (in
German) “Height of Mont Blanc, which de Saussure reached in 1787.” The entire picture relates strongly
to the plain barometric, thermometric, and cyanometric figures contained in the
Notes of Humboldt’s travel accounts. Humboldt notes that it is construed
from observations between latitudes 10° N to 10° S, on both sides of the
Thus, one has to read the skyscape in a
similar way as the mountain cross section, in a non-perspectival way, with the
shades of blue acting as codes for the atmospheric layers. Even though the
landscape represented is analytic and highly virtual, seven to eight
generations later one is still caught by its seeming perspectival pictorial
appeal. Beholding one of the few color items that have survived in the
archives, one is struck by the differentiated shades and hues of blue of the
sky. Not without cause, they tempt one to assume an art historian’s approach,
not least given the involvement of the two landscape painters Louis Schönberger
and Lancelot-Théodore Turpin, who devised the picture, and the calligraphic
engraver Louis Aubert, who made it fit for mass reproduction. Does this allusion to conventional
artwork make it relevant for an aesthetic approach, or do the descriptors on
both sides of the image indicate that it is already beyond aesthetics,
materially grounded in the realm of science? It initiates a more fundamental
aesthetic query, questioning the role of images and colors in Baroque science
passing into secular worldviews based on empirical surveys.
today’s eye the picture appears like an executive summary, a recapitulation of
Humboldt’s written opus. It is part of the project of the great picture of
nature that was the aim of his investigations. It can easily be mistaken for a
specialized pictorial aesthetics, since his descriptions are often taken for
depictions. Humboldt was aware that the achievement of a description of exotic
places depended on the readers’ imagination, which the author and researcher
cannot enforce through eloquent verbal depictions. He struggled with the task
of describing extraordinary places and situations with ordinary language. This
is quite counter to the pictorial exaggeration of familiar and appreciated
sceneries. Humboldt realized the risk of boredom, sharing the concern of his
editors and translators that the reader would become fatigued, and that also
led to translating his travelogues to be equivalent with abridging them:
When a traveler attempts to furnish
descriptions of the loftiest summits of the globe, the cataracts of the great
rivers, the tortuous valleys of the Andes, he is exposed to the danger of
fatiguing his readers by the monotonous expression of his admiration. It
appears to me more conformable to the plan, which I have proposed to myself in
this narrative, to indicate the peculiar character that distinguishes each
zone; we exhibit with more clearness the physiognomy of the landscape.
infographic representation is, in the words of Godlewska, “moving beyond
geographic space to assume the spaces of scientific theory.” Paradoxically, it could also be read
as the product of a pre–art theory aesthetics. At the end of the eighteenth
century, this kind of “visual thinking” brought the landscape into appearance
and relegated abstracting mapping to a second tier.
4. Assessing blueness
Blue appears in the context at hand as
blueness, pointing to the material world and carrying its semantics. It is
difficult to center on blue when it is mere, seamless blueness, if an
aesthetics of environment should be more than an aesthetics of the forms of
flora and fauna and not of seemingly simple issues such as colors or matter.
I want to hint at two discussions.
Bachelard, the philosopher of the new scientific spirit and of the
psychoanalysis of imagination, addresses the blue of the sky but deals with it
as a motif for poetic analysis. For him, the descriptive task has
been done by the poet, and the phenomenon becomes observable through this work.
In her recent analysis of “fine weather,” Diaconu introduces arguments for
transcending a habitual aesthetics of the beautiful and for assuming a
reflective aesthetic attitude. This would counter what she labels
“the poor blue-sky thinking” underlying everyday activities. Neither author is
thinking of an aisthesis materialis but remains in the realm of
appreciation in categories of the beautiful. However, both hint at the capacity
of this complex phenomenon to explain the world outside artworks. Now, de
Saussure’s original use tends toward the abstract reductionism so tightly
associated with today’s natural sciences: the use of the blue of the sky as an
indicator in the spirit of reductionism. The success of his project would
abolish the need to scrutinize or contemplate the blue of the sky any longer.
It is clear that neither de Saussure
nor Humboldt wants to conceptualize his interest in the blue of the sky with
Barck’s term of aisthesis materialis. They combine sensuous engagement
(scrutiny of the actual blue), quantitative abstraction (collecting numbers),
verbal and numerical reproduction, and the hope of reaching precision. At the
same time, a pictorial aesthetics is present, although not used in the core of
the investigation but in, as it were, a secondary, popular layer.
Both researchers worked and lived in a
period of fast-paced change in the rapid evolution of environmental knowledge.
One should not forget that, in de Saussure’s and Humboldt’s time, research on
nature was directed forward, whereas today’s aesthetic awareness, pointing
backward, is based on the historicity of sights and approaches. The problem is
not the co-presence and partial co-incidence of a pictorial and material
aesthetics, but the difficulty today of acquiring a clear notion of what else a
scientific aesthetics actually has been or could have become.
The change in the concept of the
physical atmosphere, as expressed in Humboldt’s table (Figure 2), is monumental.
Its character of a tilted image that exhibits the blue sky between a scientific
concept and a pictorial convention can still be understood by today’s
onlookers. In de Saussure and Humboldt, a theory of the senses is still absent
or only emerging, whereas the aesthetics of taste appears as kind of
mainstream. Because of its capacity for transformation, an aesthetics of the
picturesque, as a kind of mass aesthetics, conventional and conservative by
nature, was never in danger of losing momentum. In contrast, a grounded
aesthetic, an aesthetics connected with
environment and at the same time grounded in the senses, that serves the
progress of scientific reification would disappear through its own progress,
and ultimately because of its success. Dettelbach rejects the standard ex post identification of Humboldt “as
‘the last of universal geniuses’, as struggling to hold together a (pre-modern
and illegitimate) appeal to aesthetics what must inevitably fly apart as
science professionalized.” We don’t think that an aesthetics of
environment has actually evaporated, as this historical concept suggests. In aisthesis
materialis, the work of the senses
is fundamental, while the process of description, depiction, and representation
remains decisive. As powerful as this had been in its beginnings, it has become
equally impoverished within the scientific community, despite the overabundance
of visual material.
Aisthesis materialis includes sensing and also representing. In
such as the cyanometer were not devices that worked autonomously, independent
of the observer, nor were they considered new organs, but as leverage to
amplify and standardize sensitivity. Their place was in a natural science
based on observation as much as on measurement, and therefore necessitating the
task of computation and description. With the multiplication of parameters that
can be determined by measurement, this task has become impossible to fulfill,
and sensitivity has, despite many attempts to restore it, disappeared from many
scientific procedures. Regarding descriptive representation, Humboldt is exemplary
in demonstrating the dependence on conventional formats and media, writing, and
painting. Both work in linguistic and rhetoric frames that continue to use
categories of art-related aesthetics, such as the traveler’s literary account
or pictorial reconstruction. Both, then, depend on specific crafts that are
embedded in tradition.
What can we learn from the historical
setting? The idea of aisthesis
opens an approach to environment as both object and subject. We don’t talk of
the physical setting alone but of environment in a broad sense. The everyday is
environment for contemporary man. Despite the many cultural products
with the character of work, it is a massive and unending presence, like the
natural environment explored by de Saussure and Humboldt. Its inescapable
dominant sensuous elements are, similar to the blue of the sky, keys to
insights. It would be desirable to determine whether aisthesis materialis
has the capacity to deliver everyday aesthetics from the bonds of an aesthetics
of the beautiful and of the artwork. It would make it possible to include,
without circumstantial justification, the functional, the bland, or the
Justin Winkler is geographer at Basel
University. He is particularly interested in the history of landscape, history
of ideas, phenomenology of movement and rhythm.
Published on December 12, 2017.
 In 1834, the original sense of the
cyanometer was obviously no longer understood, as Durant’s
balloon experience indicates: Charles F. Durant, “Improvement of the
Barometer,” Mechanic’s Magazine 4(4), (October 1834), 210–214. A few
online examples illustrate the breadth of present-time adaptations: Barbara
Schaefer, “Die Vermessung der Himmelsbläue,” in My Kind of Blue. The
(accessed September 5, 2016); A smartphone application: Csibi Balasz,
“Cyanometer 2.0,” <https://www.behance.net/gallery/29132257/CYANOMETER-20>
(accessed September 6, 2016); a monument that measures air quality: Martin
Bricelj Baraga, “Cyanometer monument,” ARTECITYA network (Ljubljana: MoTA –
Museum of Transitory Art, 2016) <http://cyanometer.net>
(accessed September 6, 2016); a design project: Tim Maly, “Recording America’s
Landscape with Some Very Strange Devices” (Béhance, 2012) <http://www.wired.com/2012/06/venue-expedition>
(accessed September 6, 2016).
Barck, “‘Umwandlung des Ohrs zum Auge’:
Telescopisches Sehen und ästhetische Beschreibung bei Alexander von Humboldt,”
in Wahrnehmung und Geschichte: Markierungen zur Aisthesis materialis,
edited by Bernhard J. Dotzler and Ernst Müller (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1995),
pp. 27–42. I tried here to resist the temptation to use the translation material
aesthetics in order to respect Barck’s allusion to Baumgarten’s seminal
Karlheinz Barck, Lemma “Ästhetik. Der
europäische Kontext einer deutschen Gründung,” in Ästhetische Grundbegriffe,
vol. 1 (Wiesbaden: Metzler, 2000), pp. 317–321.
J. Dotzler and Ernst Müller (eds.), Wahrnehmung
und Geschichte : Markierungen zur Aisthesis materialis (Berlin: Akademie
communication from Bernhard Dotzler to the
author, December 22, 2016.
Welsch, Aisthesis. Grundzüge und
Perspektiven der Aristotelischen Sinneslehre
(Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1987).
& Müller 1995, p. x (translated by the
author); Barck (2000), Lemma “Ästhetik. Zur Aktualität des Ästhetischen,” p. 309.
Bachelard’s priority of the material
over the formal aspects in his aesthetic works hints at the same issue. Quotes
are found in Le Nouvel esprit scientifique (1934) and in his aesthetic
works like L’eau et les rêves (1942).
von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland, Voyage aux
régions équinoxiales du Nouveau Continent, vol. 1 (Paris: Schoell, 1814),
tourists have been described as being “often Englishmen who tried to scare themselves.” Philippe
Joutard (ed.), L'invention du Mont Blanc (Paris: Gallimard/Juillard,
1986), p. 105 (translated by the author).
de Saussure, “Description d’un cyanomètre ou d’un appareil destiné à mesurer
l’intensité de la couleur bleue du ciel,” Premier mémoire, Mémoires de
l’Académie Royale des Sciences de Turin (1788–89(a)), pp. 409–424, ref. on p.
410, translated by the author.
Breidbach and André Karliczek, “Himmelblau—das
Cyanometer des Horace-Bénédict de Saussure (1740–1799),” Sudhoffs Archiv
95(1), (2011), 3–28, ref. on 16ff.
von Humboldt, Kosmos. Entwurf einer
vol. 2 (Tübingen: Cotta, 1847), p. 4, translated by the author; cf. Barck (1995), note 2, p. 28.
Saussure (1788–98(b)), Description d’un
cyanometer, p. 450, translated by the author.
Alcantara, “De neige et de lave mêlée:
le paysage volcanique d'après Horace-Bénédict de Saussure,” in L'invention
du paysage volcanique, ed. Dominique Bertrand (Clermot-Ferrand: Presses
universitaires Blaise Pascal, 2004), pp. 83–102, here p. 90, translated by the
ibid., p. 93, translated by the author.
Voyage aux régions équinoxiales
(1814), p. 248.
Dettelbach, “The Face of Nature: Precise Measurement, Mapping, and Sensibility in the Work of Alexander von Humboldt,”
in Studies in the History of Philosophy & Biomedical Sciences 30(4)
(1999), 473-504, here p. 480.
von Humboldt and André Bonpland, Essai
sur la géographie des plantes, accompagné d'un tableau physique des régions
équinoxiales, fondé sur des mesures exécutées, depuis le dixième degré de
latitude boréale jusqu'au dixième degré de latitude australe pendant les années
1799, 1800, 1801, 1802 et 1803 (Paris: Levrault & Schoell, 1807).
comparison of mountain altitudes and the shift of vegetation zones has been
novel and attractive for readers of Humboldt’s
works. Goethe comments in a letter of April 3, 1807 to Alexander von Humboldt
(WA IV, vol. 19, pp. 296ff., no. 5340, see http://www.avhumboldt.de/?p=4223) on
his particular interest in the comparative cross sections of mountains attached
to the first volume of Essai sur la géographie des plantes, perhaps the
one in Figure 2, that had obviously been lacking. It led him to draw a sketch
of his imagination that he sent along with the letter to Humboldt.
von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland, Voyage aux
régions équinoxiales du Nouveau Continent, vol. 3 (Paris: Schoell, 1825),
Brulliot, Dictionnaire des monogrammes, marques figurées, lettres initiales
... , vol. 2 (Stuttgart: Cotta, 1833), pp. 250f.; Patrick Le Nouëne
and Caroline Chaine, Lancelot-Théodore Turpin de Crissé: peintre et
collectionneur, Paris, 1782–1859. Catalogue Musée des beaux-arts et
Bibliothèque Marmottan, Angers (Paris: Somogy, 2006).
& Bonpland, Voyages
(1814), p. 178.
Marie Claire Godlewska, “From Enlightenment
Vision to Modern Science? Humboldt’s Visual Thinking,” in Geography and
Enlightenment, edited by David N. Livingstone and Charles W. J. Withers
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999), pp. 236–275, here p. 267.
ibid., pp. 250f.
own tentative survey of color terms in the main works of de Saussure ‹S›
and Humboldt ‹H› shows that the group of blues makes up only 5% ‹S› and 8% ‹H›,
respectively, of all color mentions. The group of white, black, and grays
constitute the mass of color terms (57% ‹S› and 48% ‹H›); the greens, reds,
yellows, browns, blues, and metals cover the rest, with shares from 13% ‹S› to
4% ‹H›, a distribution obviously marked by the description of petrographic and
plant colors. In de Saussure, the frequent dynamic circumscription of colors,
such as gris tirant sur le jaune verdâtre (gray with a hue of greenish
yellow; Voyages IV, 424, §2255), would be of particular interest for the
history of color semantics in the early natural sciences. For the linguistic
codes of colors, see Toni Bernhart, “Die Farbe als sprachliche Größe,” in Erkenntniswert
Farbe, edited by Margrit Vogt and André Karliczek (Jena:
Ernst-Haeckel-Haus), pp. 137–150.
Bachelard, “Le ciel bleu et
l’imagination aérienne,” in Confluences, revue de la renaissance française
25, (September 1943), pp. 447–460; chapter “Le ciel bleu,” in L’air et les
songes (Paris: Corti, 1943), pp. 209–226.
"The Face of Nature," p. 475, note 4.
concept as identified by Barck (cf. note 2) is well covered by Berleant’s
definition of sensitivity, “perceptual awareness that is developed, guided, and
focused.” Despite Humboldt’s contact with Goethe, I do not believe that it has
to be expanded to comprehend Goethe’s transcending Anschauung. Cf.
Arnold Berleant, “Aesthetic Sensibility,” in Ambiances. Environnement
sensible, architecture et espace urbain, (March 2015), 1–9; ref. on p. 4,
understand here “environment” in Berleant’s
definition, without definite or indefinite article, as a generic term without
plural, that does not refer to finished and conceptually framed environments.
Cf. Arnold Berleant, The aesthetics of environment (Philadelphia: Temple
University Press, 1992).