top of page

Papers & Talks

Brassey, V. (2023) Time for Beauty (conference presentation)ras


Brassey, V. (2023) Time for Twofoldness (conference presentation)

Brassey, V. The Expression of Emotions in Pictures, Routledge 2024. Co-editor with Professor Derek Matravers.

Brassey, V. (2023). The Pictorial Narrator Estetika

Brassey, V (2022) . Affect in Artistic Creativity: Painting to Feel (Book Review), British Journal of Aesthetics

Brassey, V. (2021). The Expression of Emotion in Pictures, Philosophy Compass,

Brassey, V. (2020). What Makes a Painting Sad? Thesis, King's College London.

BRASSEY, V. (2020). Still Moving. Debates in Aesthetics, Volume 15,(1), pp. 35-50.

BRASSEY, V. (2019). The Implied Painter. Debates in Aesthetics, Volume 14,(1), pp. 15-29.

9-11th September 2022
BSA Symposia - The Whodunit Theory of Expression

-- Download Handout -- 

What makes a painting sad?

It's a whodunit. 


Why should we be troubled by the claim that a painting is sad? The philosopher responds to this in the following way: paintings are not sentient, they have no psychological life and therefore they cannot be sad. If paintings cannot be sad, at least not in the same way a person can be sad, then they cannot express sadness in the way a person expresses sadness. But, if paintings are not expressing sadness, when we call them sad, then, what are we reporting? And why is our art critical practice so out of step with philosophical wisdom?

'Time for Beauty'
BSA Fellowship 2022-3 

I am thrilled to have been awarded the BSA Postdoctoral Fellowship 2022-3. My project will be to explore the poorly defined concept of time-based aesthetic properties in (still) pictures, which I claim, helps to explain the representation and the expression of sophisticated emotions, such as regret, nostalgia, and euphoria.  This challenges a longstanding assumption that expressiveness in a picture (and other aesthetic properties) depends solely on spatial extension -  a curve here or a line there – while musical expressiveness depends on temporal properties namely, rhythm, melody, and cadence. However, given that sophisticated emotions such as nostalgia point to the past, it seems that the expressive qualities of at least some (such as nostalgic) pictures are interestingly time based.

Films with a philosophical twist

Art & Emotion

In collaboration with The National Galleryy Written & Produced by Vanessa Brassey.

 Radical Radio Philosophy

I had a lovely chat with Beth Matthews who produces a Radio Program on 3CR called Radical Philosophy in Melbourne Australia. She asks good questions and I bang on for far to long with my answers. Anyway here it is. 

Magazines & papers in progress

The Philosophers Magazine

The Pictorial Narrator (Under Review)

Visual Tempo (Conference Draft)

Time for Beauty (Film Script Draft)

Please contact me by email if you would like information on presentations. 

'The Sublime' - Produced and directed by Vanessa Brassey for the National Gallery, featuring Sacha Golob, Reader in Philosophy at King's College London.

Trailer for 'The Pleasures of Regret'

A short film primer accompanying journal article in Philosophy Compass 'The Expression of Emotion in Pictures'. Written, presented, and produced by Dr Vanessa Brassey

'Art, Pray, Love" a powerpoint presentation about paintings in The National Gallery collection. Written and presented by Dr Vanessa Brassey

A short introductory film about the Centre for Philosophy and Art, King's College London

Panel Events CPVA.png


Interviews with Artists

I have also produced several films for King's College, London which you can see here:

Kenny Hunter on Hegel

Hester Reeve on Bohm Dialogue

Artist Interview: Noemi Lakmaier


Topic led Interviews

An ongoing project that engages with artists on a more informal level and explore contact points between contemporary academic philosophy and current art making practices. 

  1. Ted Hunt & the Philosophy of Time

  2. Nicola Durvasula & Expressivity in Art

  3. Clio Barnard & the Philosophy of Film

  4. Max Barstow & the Philosophy of Photography

  5. Joseph Kendra on Morality & Art

  6. Lucy Dahlsen on the Philosophy of Portraits

Artist Residency

Sense of Time

The recent residency included a successful collaboration between Professor Matt Soteriou and Artist Ted Hunt which featured in the Bush House Exhibition 2019. See the film about it here


All Too Human: Anxiety & The Philosophy of Art

Listen here to Sacha Golob and Vanessa Brassey in conversation on ‘Anxiety’. This was recorded in advance of CPVA’s Tate Britain panel and workshop – Sat 2nd June (2018) from 13:00.

bottom of page