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Romanticism Collage

Romanticism

Started: c.1780

Ended: 1830

Romanticism Timeline

Quotes

"The source of genius is imagination alone, the refinement of the senses that sees what others do not see, or sees them differently."
Eugene Delacroix
"I should paint my own places best, painting is but another word for feeling."
John Constable
"The things one experiences alone with oneself are very much stronger and purer."
Eugene Delacroix
"With the brush we merely tint, while the imagination alone produces color."
Théodore Géricault
"Amid those scenes of solitude... the mind is cast into the contemplation of eternal things."
Thomas Cole
"The man who never in his mind and thoughts travel'd to heaven is no artist."
William Blake
"Imagination is the real and eternal world of which this vegetable universe is but a faint shadow."
William Blake
"The eye altering, alters all."
William Blake
"Imagination abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of source of their wonders."
Francisco de Goya
"I must stay alone and know that I am alone to contemplate and feel nature in full; I have to surrender myself to what encircles me, I have to merge with my clouds and rocks in order to be what I am."
Caspar David Friedrich
"Every true work of art must express a distinct feeling."
Caspar David Friedrich
"A painter should paint not only what he sees before him, but also what he sees within himself."
Caspar David Friedrich

KEY ARTISTS

Francisco GoyaFrancisco Goya
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Jean-Auguste-Dominique IngresJean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
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Caspar David FriedrichCaspar David Friedrich
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Theodore GericaultTheodore Gericault
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J.M.W. TurnerJ.M.W. Turner
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Henry FuseliHenry Fuseli
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"If by romanticism one means the free manifestation of my personal impulses, distancing myself from the rules set in schools, and my distaste for the recipes of the academy, I must confess that not only am I a romantic, I was from the age of 15."

Eugène Delacroix Signature

Synopsis

At the end of the 18th century and well into the 19th, Romanticism quickly spread throughout Europe and the United States to challenge the rational ideal held so tightly during the Enlightenment. The artists emphasized that sense and emotions - not simply reason and order - were equally important means of understanding and experiencing the world. Romanticism celebrated the individual imagination and intuition in the enduring search for individual rights and liberty. Its ideals of the creative, subjective powers of the artist fueled avant-garde movements well into the 20th century.

Romanticist practitioners found their voices across all genres, including literature, music, art, and architecture. Reacting against the sober style of Neoclassicism preferred by most countries' academies, the far reaching international movement valued originality, inspiration, and imagination, thus promoting a variety of styles within the movement. Additionally, in an effort to stem the tide of increasing industrialization, many of the Romanticists emphasized the individual's connection to nature and an idealized past.

Key Ideas

In part spurred by the idealism of the French Revolution, Romanticism embraced the struggles for freedom and equality and the promotion of justice. Painters began using current events and atrocities to shed light on injustices in dramatic compositions that rivaled the more staid Neoclassical history paintings accepted by national academies.
Romanticism embraced individuality and subjectivity to counteract the excessive insistence on logical thought. Artists began exploring various emotional and psychological states as well as moods. The preoccupation with the hero and the genius translated to new views of the artist as a brilliant creator who was unburdened by academic dictate and tastes. As the French poet Charles Baudelaire described it, "Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject nor in exact truth, but in a way of feeling."
In many countries, Romantic painters turned their attention to nature and plein air painting, or painting out of doors. Works based on close observation of the landscape as well as the sky and atmosphere elevated landscape painting to a new, more respectful level. While some artists emphasized humans at one with and a part of nature, others portrayed nature's power and unpredictability, evoking a feeling of the sublime - awe mixed with terror - in the viewer.
Romanticism was closely bound up with the emergence of newly found nationalism that swept many countries after the American Revolution. Emphasizing local folklore, traditions, and landscapes, Romanticists provided the visual imagery that further spurred national identity and pride. Romantic painters combined the ideal with the particular, imbuing their paintings with a call to spiritual renewal that would usher in an age of freedom and liberties not yet seen.

Beginnings

Romanticism Image

The term Romanticism was first used in Germany in the late 1700s when the critics August and Friedrich Schlegal wrote of romantische Poesie ("romantic poetry"). Madame de Staël, an influential leader of French intellectual life, following the publication of her account of her German travels in 1813, popularized the term in France. In 1815 the English poet William Wordsworth, who became a major voice of the Romantic movement and who felt that poetry should be "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings," contrasted the "romantic harp" with the "classic lyre." The artists that considered themselves part of the movement saw themselves as sharing a state of mind or an attitude toward art, nature, and humanity but did not rely on strict definitions or tenets. Bucking established social order, religion, and values, Romanticism became a dominant art movement throughout Europe by the 1820s.

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Content compiled and written by Rebecca Seiferle

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Movement Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Rebecca Seiferle
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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