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This essay takes up and critiques the newly—in the middle of the 18th century—strict division of the aesthetic field into the beautiful and the sublime and its attendant alignment of the male with the sublime and the beautiful with the female. The focus is primarily on Burke's Philosophical Enquiry (1756) and Kant's Observations on our Feelings of the Beautiful and the Sublime (1763). I argue that especially in Burke the dubious and dubiously strict division of gendered aesthetic modes at the level of doctrine is somewhat belied by the rhetorical performance of the text. I glance briefly at Winckelmann's ekphrases as one striking example of a conceptual and rhetoric resistance to the dominant paradigm that insisted on aligning women with beauty and men with sublimity.