Romantic visual art

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Romantic visual art

In the visual arts romanticism is used to refer loosely to a trend that appears at any time, and specifically to the art of the early 19th cent. Nineteenth-century romanticism was characterized by the avoidance of classical forms and rules, emphasis on the emotional and spiritual, representation of the unattainable ideal, nostalgia for the grace of past ages, and a predilection for exotic themes. Romantic artists developed precise techniques in order to produce specific associations in the mind of the viewer.

To convey verbal concepts they would, for example, endow inanimate objects with human values e.

Romanticism - History and Concepts

The result was often sentimental or ludicrous. In the case of Delacroixhowever, his painterly style and color sense exalted the romantic attitude in a singularly effective fashion. In England landscape gardening was used to express the romantic aesthetic by means of deliberate imitation of the picturesque in nature. In architecture Wyatt 's preposterous, mock medieval Fonthill Abbey displayed the romantic building style in extreme form.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. All rights reserved. See more Encyclopedia articles on: Literature: General.

romantic visual art

Enter your search terms:.Romanticism was a movement that dominated all genres; including literature, music, art and architecture; in Europe and the United States in the first half of the 19th century. It originated in late 18th century as a reaction against the ideals of order, calm, harmony, idealization and rationality which marked Classicism in general and late 18th-century Neoclassicism in particular.

Romanticism laid emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of the past and nature. The artists of the movement created works which highlighted that sense and emotions were as important in experiencing the world as reason and balance.

They stressed on the individual, the imaginative, the personal, the spontaneous, the emotional and the visionary. Know more about Romanticism through the 10 most famous artists of the movement and their greatest masterpieces. Lifespan: February 1, — February 11, Nationality: American.

Romanticism found its primary expression in the United States in the works of a group of painters of a movement known as the Hudson River School. Their paintings reflect three themes of America in the 19th century: discovery, exploration and settlement. Thomas Cole was the founder as well as the most renowned artist of the Hudson River School.

He is most known for his landscape paintings of the American wilderness. These romantic portrayals convey a sense of awe at the vastness of nature. The most famous among these is perhaps The Oxbowwhich depicts a panorama of the Connecticut River Valley just after a thunderstorm.

Romanticism Visual Art

Cole also produced allegorical works like his five-part series The Course of Empirewhich portray the growth and fall of an imaginary city; and The Voyage of Lifean allegory of the four stages of human life: childhood, youth, manhood and old age. Masterpiece: The Oxbow Other Famous Works The Voyage of Life The Course of Empire — Lifespan: February 10, — December 21, Nationality: Italian.

Francesco Hayez was an extremely prolific artist who enjoyed a long and successful career. He began as a Neoclassical painter, then turned to Romanticism and ended as a sentimental painter of young women. Born in a relatively poor family, Hayez showed a predisposition towards drawing and apprenticed as an art restorer. He then became a student of the painter Francesco Maggiotto before moving to Milan; where by the midth-centuryhe became the leading representative of Romanticism.

His painting Il bacio The Kiss is regarded as a symbol of Italian Romanticismof which it encompasses many features.

Romanticism - Overview from Phil Hansen

Francesco Hayez is renowned for his grand historical paintings, political allegories and exceptionally fine portraits. He is the most famous Italian Romantic painter and he had a significant influence on future artists in the nation.

Masterpiece: The Kiss Melancholic Thought The Meditation Lifespan: July 29, — May 2, Nationality: Russian.

romantic visual art

Ivan Aivazovsky was one of the leading Russian artists of his time who also served as the main painter of the Russian Navy. He was a prolific artist whose career spanned for almost 60 years during which he created around 6, paintings.

Aivazovsky was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir in and the Order of St.Liberty Leading the People Louvre, Paris. By Eugene Delacroix. Romanticism was a European art movement which placed a premium on imagination and aesthetics, rather than reason and conventional order.

It was a broad movement encompassing many different styles of art, across most of the painting genres. If there was any unifying factor, it was an attitude of mind that valued "individual experience" in an increasingly mechanized, ordered and rational world. Drawing was used to convey emotion, and colour assumed a major role. Oil paintings had a tactile quality from vigorous brushwork and impasto layering.

For chronology and dates, see: History of Art Timeline. For the greatest genre-scenes: Best Genre Painters. For the top historical painting, see: Best History Painters.

romantic visual art

Although Romantic art dates back to the Northern Renaissance - witness works by Albrecht AltdorferRomanticism proper may be said to have originated in the late 18th century, and Romantic painters were spurred on though not confined by the French Revolution They divided into several differing shades of Romanticism. In England, for instance, landscape artists like JMW Turner explored a personal response to nature and the world, in France Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot and others romanticised plein-air nature, while in Germany, painters like Caspar David Friedrich sought a more spiritual connection.

In France, early Romanticists included Antoine-Jean Groswho remained within the classical academic idiom, as did Jean-Leon Gerome who popularized Orientalist paintinganother strand of Romanticism.

Theodore Gericault had a more socially-aware aesthetic, while Eugene Delacroix who produced the orientalist work Death of Sardanapalus and the more political Liberty Leading the People had a more historical view - a stance mirrored by the paintings of the great Spanish Romantic Goya.

romanticism: Romanticism in the Visual Arts

In America, Romanticism was exemplified by the Hudson River School of landscape painting and Luminism Towards the end of the Romantic art era, which peaked between andthe Pre-Raphaelites and other similar groups added their own chivalric and nostalgic contribution.

Other leading Romantics in the field of oil painting included: the eccentric symbolist Henry Fuselinoted for The Nightmare ; the visionary illustrator and watercolourist William Blake ; the idyllic naturalist John Constable ; and the French academic classicist Ingres All rights reserved.

Romantic Artists The Romantic School c.

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Romanticist Artists Although Romantic art dates back to the Northern Renaissance - witness works by Albrecht AltdorferRomanticism proper may be said to have originated in the late 18th century, and Romantic painters were spurred on though not confined by the French Revolution The four principal Pre-Raphaelite artists included: William Holman HuntDante Gabriel Rossettithe portraitist John Everett Millais and Edward Burne-Jones Other leading Romantics in the field of oil painting included: the eccentric symbolist Henry Fuselinoted for The Nightmare ; the visionary illustrator and watercolourist William Blake ; the idyllic naturalist John Constable ; and the French academic classicist Ingres Romanticism, fueled by the French Revolution, was a reaction to the scientific rationalism and classicism of the Age of Enlightenment.

Romanticism was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century. In most areas the movement was at its peak in the approximate period from CE to CE. Romanticism reached beyond the rational and Classicist ideal models to elevate a revived medievalism. Though influenced by other artistic and intellectual movements, the ideologies and events of the French Revolution created the primary context from which both Romanticism and the Counter-Enlightenment emerged.

Upholding the ideals of the Revolution, Romanticism was a revolt against the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and also a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature. Romanticism elevated the achievements of what it perceived as heroic individualists and artists, whose pioneering examples would elevate society. It also legitimized the individual imagination as a critical authority, which permitted freedom from classical notions of form in art.

Romanticism was also inspired by the German Sturm und Drang movement Storm and Stresswhich prized intuition and emotion over Enlightenment rationalism. This proto-romantic movement was centered on literature and music, but also influenced the visual arts.

The movement emphasized individual subjectivity. Extremes of emotion were given free expression in reaction to the perceived constraints of rationalism imposed by the Enlightenment and associated aesthetic movements. Sturm und Drang in the visual arts can be witnessed in paintings of storms and shipwrecks showing the terror and irrational destruction wrought by nature.

These pre-romantic works were fashionable in Germany from the s on through the s, illustrating a public audience for emotionally charged artwork. The Industrial Revolution also had an influence on Romanticism, which was in part an escape from modern realities of population growth, urban sprawl, and industrialism. While the arrival of Romanticism in French art was delayed by the hold of Neoclassicism on the academies, it became increasingly popular during the Napoleonic period.

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Its initial form was the history paintings that acted as propaganda for the new regime. Since the Renaissance, history painting was considered among the highest and most difficult forms of art. History painting is defined by its subject matter rather than artistic style. History paintings usually depict a moment in a narrative story rather than a specific and static subject.

In the Romantic period, history painting was extremely popular and increasingly came to refer to the depiction of historical scenes, rather than those from religion or mythology. This generation of the French school developed personal Romantic styles while still concentrating on history painting with a political message.

Achilles Receiving the Envoys of Agamemnon by Ingres, : Ingres, though firmly committed to Neoclassical values, is seen as expressing the Romantic spirit of the times. Both of these works reflected current events and appealed to public sentiment. Spanish painter Francisco Goya is today generally regarded as the greatest painter of the Romantic period. However, in many ways he remained wedded to the classicism and realism of his training.For painters working in the style of Romanticism, see: Romantic Artists.

By John William Waterhouse. What is Romanticism? Despite the early efforts of pioneers like El Greco Domenikos TheotocopoulosAdam Elsheimer and Claude Lorrainthe style we know as Romanticism did not gather momentum until the end of the 18th century when the heroic element in Neoclassicism was given a central role in painting.

This heroic element combined with revolutionary idealism to produce an emotive Romantic style, which emerged in the wake of the French Revolution as a reaction against the restrained academic art of the arts establishment. The tenets of romanticism included: a return to nature - exemplified by an emphasis on spontaneous plein-air painting - a belief in the goodness of humanity, the promotion of justice for all, and a strong belief in the senses and emotions, rather than reason and intellect.

Romantic painters and sculptors tended to express an emotional personal response to life, in contrast to the restraint and universal values advocated by Neoclassical art. The Nightmare Henry Fuseli. Detroit Institute of Arts.

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A masterpiece of surreal Romanticism. For the Top oils, watercolours see: Greatest Paintings Ever. Romantic art did not displace the Neoclassical style, but rather functioned as a counterbalance to the latter's severity and rigidity. Although Romanticism declined aboutits influence continued long after. After the French Revolution ofa significant social change occurred within a single generation.

Europe was shaken by political crises, revolutions and wars. When leaders met at the Congress of Vienna to reorganise European affairs after the Napoleonic Wars, it became clear that the peoples' hopes for 'liberty, equality and fraternity' had not been realized. However, during the course of those agitated 25 years, new ideas and attitudes had taken hold in the minds of men. Respect for the individual, the responsible human being, which was already a key element in Neoclassical paintinghad given rise to a new but related phenomenon - emotional intuition.

Thus cool, rational Neoclassicism was now confronted with emotion and the individual imagination which sprang from it. Instead of praising the stoicism and intellectual discipline of the individual Neoclassicismartists now also began to celebrate the emotional intuition and perception of the individual Romanticism.

Thus at the beginning of the 19th century, a variety of styles began to emerge - each shaped by national characteristics - all falling under the heading of 'Romanticism'. The movement began in Germany where it was motivated largely by a sense of world weariness " Weltschmerz "a feeling of isolation and a yearning for nature.

Later, Romantic tendencies also appeared in English and French painting. German Romanticism In Germany, the young generation of artists reacted to the changing times by a process of introspection: they retreated into the world of the emotions - inspired by a sentimental yearning for times past, such as the Medieval era, which was now seen as a time in which men had lived in harmony with themselves and the world.

In their recollection of the past, Romantic artists were very close to Neoclassicism, except that their historicism was critical of the rationalist attitude of Neoclassicism.Right there, courtesy of Baudelaire, you have the first and largest problem with Romanticism : it is nearly impossible to concisely define what it was. When we talk about Romanticism the Movement, we aren't using the root word "romance" in the sense of hearts and flowers or infatuation.

Instead, we use "romance" in the sense of glorification. Romantic visual and literary artists glorified things They glorified huge, complex concepts such as liberty, survival, ideals, hope, awe, heroism, despair, and the various sensations that nature evokes in humans.

All of these are felt —and felt on an individual, highly subjective level. Aside from promoting intangible ideas, Romanticism may also be loosely defined by what it stood against. The movement championed spiritualism over science, instinct over deliberation, nature over industry, democracy over subjugation, and the rusticity over the aristocracy. Again, these are all concepts open to extremely personalized interpretation.

Keep in mind that Romanticism affected literature and music, as well as visual art. The German Sturm und Drang movement the late s to early s was predominantly revenge-driven literary and minor-key musically but led to a handful of visual artists painting terrifying scenes. Romantic art truly got underway at the turn of the century and had its greatest number of practitioners for the next 40 years. If you are taking notes, that is an to heyday. As with any other movement, though, there were artists who were young when Romanticism was old.

Some of them stuck with the movement until their respective ends, while others retained aspects of Romanticism as they moved in new directions. It is not really too much of a stretch to say and cover all of the hold-outs like Franz Xaver Winterhalter After that point Romantic painting was definitely stone cold dead, even though the movement brought about lasting changes going forward.

The paintings of the Romantic period were emotional powder kegs. Artists expressed as much feeling and passion as could be loaded on to a canvas. A landscape had to evoke a mood, a crowd scene had to show expressions on every face, an animal painting had to depict some, preferably majestic, trait of that animal. Even portraits were not totally straightforward representations -- the sitter would be given eyes meant to be mirrors of the soul, a smile, a grimace, or a certain tilt of the head.

With little touches, the artist could portray his subject surrounded by an atmosphere of innocence, madness, virtue, loneliness, altruism or greed. In addition to the emotionally-charged feelings one got from looking at Romantic paintings, contemporary viewers were usually quite knowledgeable of the story behind the subject matter. Because the artists frequently took their inspiration from current events. Of course, not every Romantic work related to current events.Romanticismattitude or intellectual orientation that characterized many works of literature, paintingmusicarchitecturecriticismand historiography in Western civilization over a period from the late 18th to the midth century.

Romanticism can be seen as a rejection of the precepts of order, calm, harmonybalance, idealization, and rationality that typified Classicism in general and late 18th-century Neoclassicism in particular. It was also to some extent a reaction against the Enlightenment and against 18th-century rationalism and physical materialism in general. Romanticism emphasized the individual, the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, the personal, the spontaneous, the emotional, the visionary, and the transcendental.

Among the characteristic attitudes of Romanticism were the following: a deepened appreciation of the beauties of nature; a general exaltation of emotion over reason and of the senses over intellect; a turning in upon the self and a heightened examination of human personality and its moods and mental potentialities; a preoccupation with the geniusthe hero, and the exceptional figure in general, and a focus on his passions and inner struggles; a new view of the artist as a supremely individual creator, whose creative spirit is more important than strict adherence to formal rules and traditional procedures; an emphasis upon imagination as a gateway to transcendent experience and spiritual truth; an obsessive interest in folk culturenational and ethnic cultural origins, and the medieval era; and a predilection for the exotic, the remote, the mysterious, the weird, the occult, the monstrous, the diseased, and even the satanic.

Romanticism proper was preceded by several related developments from the midth century on that can be termed Pre-Romanticism. Among such trends was a new appreciation of the medieval romance, from which the Romantic movement derives its name.


The romance was a tale or ballad of chivalric adventure whose emphasis on individual heroism and on the exotic and the mysterious was in clear contrast to the elegant formality and artificiality of prevailing Classical forms of literature, such as the French Neoclassical tragedy or the English heroic couplet in poetry. This new interest in relatively unsophisticated but overtly emotional literary expressions of the past was to be a dominant note in Romanticism.

The first phase of the Romantic movement in Germany was marked by innovations in both content and literary style and by a preoccupation with the mystical, the subconscious, and the supernatural. The second phase of Romanticism, comprising the period from about to the s, was marked by a quickening of cultural nationalism and a new attention to national origins, as attested by the collection and imitation of native folklorefolk ballads and poetry, folk dance and music, and even previously ignored medieval and Renaissance works.

The revived historical appreciation was translated into imaginative writing by Sir Walter Scottwho is often considered to have invented the historical novel. Maturin, the Marquis de Sadeand E. By the s Romanticism had broadened to embrace the literatures of almost all of Europe. These artists favoured themes that were bizarre, pathetic, or extravagantly heroic, and they defined their images with tensely linear drawing and bold contrasts of light and shade.

William Blake, the other principal early Romantic painter in England, evolved his own powerful and unique visionary images. In the next generation the great genre of English Romantic landscape painting emerged in the works of J. Turner and John Constable. These artists emphasized transient and dramatic effects of light, atmosphere, and colour to portray a dynamic natural world capable of evoking awe and grandeur. Ingres represent the last, more academic phase of Romantic painting in France.


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