Romanticism art (do not mix with romance art) was a large movement in painting, literature, architecture which took place from the end of 18th century to the middle of 19th century with its peak between 1800 and 1850. In the 18th century rationalism and physical materialism were the most popular ideas, and Romanticism raised against it bringing to the top transcendental, individual and sometimes irrational thoughts and feelings.
Origins of Romanticism
This art style developed in Europe after the French Revolution of 1739 which brought significant changes in society, and all it happened within one generation. Europe was shaken by wars and revolutions as people started to fight for their rights of liberty and equality. No doubt that such colossal changes in society brought individual feelings and emotions which Neoclassicism — a dominating art style of that period focused on strict intellectual discipline of a person wasn’t able to reflect and express.
The beginning of 19th century became a starting point of huge changes in the world of art and development of new art styles. Germany was a first country where artists started to create Romanticism paintings expressing their feelings of isolation, world weariness and desire to become closer to nature. Later, English and French artists started also working in this style.
Romanticism developed in 4 countries: Germany, France, England and Spain. German artists were inspired by nostalgic sentimental feelings of harmony with nature which people had in Medieval time. They kept using traditional techniques but the idea was to express ’a voice from within’. The main object for depicting was nature. It was safe to paint landscapes in politically strict Germany, though artists made their paintings a symbol of freedom and boundlessness.
The main representative of Romantic art in Spain was Francisco de Goya with his works depicting nightmares, illusions, fear and terror. French artists experienced great changes in society after Napoleonic wars. Unlike German artists, in their works they didn’t focus on landscapes only but experimented with portraits and history painting with Liberty Leading the People as the most known example of it.
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