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Romanticism

Artistic revolt against the Age of Enlightenment

Romantic art is not romantic in the contemporary sense. It’s not referring to romantic comedies, or relationships. The meaning has changed since the 19th century. If you describe a person, saying “she is a Romantic” you would be closer the right meaning and usage of the 19th century usage.

The period we call Romanticism covers, generally speaking, from the 1800-1860’s. Its themes were grand! The use of one’s imagination and intuition were valued over rational thought. Rational thought brought revolution, war, and destruction. Francisco Goya’s etching is a great example of Romanticism’s reaction to the Age of Enlightenment, and the pining to access something more human than just reason and logic. Many of the early Romantics turned to Nature for inspiration. The scale and the awe of nature became an ideal subject matter to express the inner life, the imagination and what it means to be human — a part of creation rather than separate from it. Our contemporary ideas of connecting Romance to travel, distant lands, awe-inspiring landscapes, can be directly linked back to the art, music and writing of this period.

Reed Enger, "Romanticism, Artistic revolt against the Age of Enlightenment," in Obelisk Art History, Published January 27, 2015; last modified July 21, 2019, http://arthistoryproject.com/timeline/industrial-revolution/romanticism/.

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Horse Attacked by a Lion, George Stubbs

Horse Attacked by a Lion

George Stubbs, 1769
A lighthouse on fire at night, Joseph Wright of Derby

A lighthouse on fire at night

Joseph Wright of Derby, c. 1770
The Annual Girandola at the Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome, Joseph Wright of Derby

The Annual Girandola at the Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome

Joseph Wright of Derby, 1775-1776
The Parasol, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

The Parasol

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1777
Christ on the Cross, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

Christ on the Cross

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1780
Lake by Moonlight with Castle on Hill, Joseph Wright of Derby

Lake by Moonlight with Castle on Hill

Joseph Wright of Derby, 1787
Fighting Cats, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

Fighting Cats

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1786-1788
Self Portrait at age 16, Joseph Mallord William Turner

Self Portrait at age 16

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1791
Newton, William Blake

Newton

William Blake, 1795
The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy, William Blake

The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy

William Blake, 1795
Visions of the Daughters of Albion (Frontispiece), William Blake

Visions of the Daughters of Albion (Frontispiece)

William Blake, 1795
Visions of the Daughters of Albion (Plate 4), William Blake

Visions of the Daughters of Albion (Plate 4)

William Blake, 1795
Fishermen at Sea, Joseph Mallord William Turner

Fishermen at Sea

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1796
God Forgive Her, It Was Her Mother, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

God Forgive Her, It Was Her Mother

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1799
Self Portrait, Joseph Mallord William Turner

Self Portrait

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1799
The Sleep Of Reason Produces Monsters, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

The Sleep Of Reason Produces Monsters

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1799
The Clothed Maja, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

The Clothed Maja

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1800
The Nude Maja, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

The Nude Maja

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1800
Charles IV of Spain and His Family, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

Charles IV of Spain and His Family

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1800-1801
Willy Lott's House, John Constable

Willy Lott's House

John Constable, 1802
The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun, William Blake

The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun

William Blake, 1803
Morning Mist in the Mountains, Caspar David Friedrich

Morning Mist in the Mountains

Caspar David Friedrich, 1808
Abbey among Oak Trees, Caspar David Friedrich

Abbey among Oak Trees

Caspar David Friedrich, 1809-1810
José Costa y Bonells, Called Pepito, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

José Costa y Bonells, Called Pepito

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1810
The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun, William Blake

The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun

William Blake, 1805-1810
Winter Landscape, Caspar David Friedrich

Winter Landscape

Caspar David Friedrich, 1811
An Officer of the Imperial Horse Guards Charging, Théodore Géricault

An Officer of the Imperial Horse Guards Charging

Théodore Géricault, 1812
Crowd in a Park, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

Crowd in a Park

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1812
Hannibal and his Men crossing the Alps, Neoclassicism

Hannibal and his Men crossing the Alps

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1810-1812
Executions on the Third of May, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

Executions on the Third of May

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1814
Grande Odalisque, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Grande Odalisque

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, 1814
The Wounded Cuirassier, Théodore Géricault

The Wounded Cuirassier

Théodore Géricault, 1814
Dido Building Carthage, Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dido Building Carthage

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1815
Self Portrait, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

Self Portrait

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1815
Wivenhoe Park, Essex, John Constable

Wivenhoe Park, Essex

John Constable, 1816
Chalk Cliffs on Rügen, Caspar David Friedrich

Chalk Cliffs on Rügen

Caspar David Friedrich, 1818
The Raft of the Medusa, Théodore Géricault

The Raft of the Medusa

Théodore Géricault, 1818
The wanderer above the sea of fog, Caspar David Friedrich

The wanderer above the sea of fog

Caspar David Friedrich, 1818
Sailboat on a Raging Sea, Théodore Géricault

Sailboat on a Raging Sea

Théodore Géricault, 1818-1819
The White Horse, John Constable

The White Horse

John Constable, 1819
Mountain with Ascending Mist, Caspar David Friedrich

Mountain with Ascending Mist

Caspar David Friedrich, 1819-1820
Portrait of a Kleptomaniac, Théodore Géricault

Portrait of a Kleptomaniac

Théodore Géricault, 1820
Hampstead Heath with Bathers, John Constable

Hampstead Heath with Bathers

John Constable, 1821
Moonrise over the Sea, Caspar David Friedrich

Moonrise over the Sea

Caspar David Friedrich, 1822
The Barque of Dante, Eugène Delacroix

The Barque of Dante

Eugène Delacroix, 1822
The Lone Tree, Caspar David Friedrich

The Lone Tree

Caspar David Friedrich, 1822
Rocky ravine in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, Caspar David Friedrich

Rocky ravine in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains

Caspar David Friedrich, 1822-1823
The Bass Rock, Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Bass Rock

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1824
The Bass Rock, Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Bass Rock

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1824
The Battle of Trafalgar, Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Battle of Trafalgar

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1822-1824
Next Movement
Oceanic Art, Industrial Revolution

Oceanic Art

10,000 islands, 1800 cultures and languages

1800-1925

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