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Romanticism In European Art And Culture

2475 words - 10 pages

Of all the movements in European art, Romanticism has by far the most difficult origins to pinpoint due to the broadness of its beginnings, artistic expressions, and time frame. Inspired by “nature, an awareness of the past, a religious spirit, and an artistic ideal” (Barron’s 6), Romanticism is one of the most significant influences on European culture. By looking at modern paintings, we can see the influence Romanticism has had throughout the generations. With Romanticism, artists have been able to take painting to different levels. The paintings are so profound that they allow the viewer to learn, develop, and acknowledge new aspects of life. The beginning of the Romantic era marked the birth of creative activities and aesthetic behaviors. Romanticism allows an artist to be creative, original, and authentic. Romantics view the world as more prejudiced and less balanced than others, including Neo-Classicists. What sets Romanticism apart from Neo-Classicism is the standards for Romantic artists were based on their own responsiveness while Neo-Classical artists aimed on portraying the orthodox values.

From Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres to Théodore Géricault, Eugène Delacroix, Francisco de Goya, John Singleton Copley, Carl Friedrich Lessing, and Francesco Hayez, Romanticism quickly spread throughout much of Europe. This movement drastically hit France, Spain, Great Britain, Germany, and Italy and eventually worked its way to America. (Barron’s 22) Romanticism, the Romantic style or movement in literature and art which encourages freedom, imagination, emotion, and introspection, as well as the celebration of nature, people and the spirit, is most commonly associated with the 18th and 19th centuries. As the dates differ between countries, the generally accepted dates are around the 1770s and mid-1800s. Romanticism allowed countries to communicate their own vision and express these ideologies through literature, art and music. (Barron’s 12)
Romanticism has many meanings, including "the deep fascination that non-classical literature and history held over artists from 1770" (Barron’s 12) as well as "a state of feelings that describe a situation of emotional anxiety that seemed to become more intense with the passage of time." (Barron’s 12) Romanticism considers a variety of tendencies, from "the urgent desire for exploration...in the imagination, of the far-off worlds of exotic or primitive societies, to passionate declarations on public morality" (Barron’s 12). In a Romantic’s point of view, all things were connected together. Everything belonged to everyone else and a single technique or subject represented the whole. The essence of the Romantic spirit is also found in individualism through political events and responses to the coercion that the new liberal bourgeoisie imposed in 1789 (Barron’s 13). In Romanticism, an artist was often found placing emotion and their own insight before what was right and just, such as Joseph Mallord William...

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