Obelisk Art History
Industrial Revolution

Romanticism
Artistic revolt against the Age of Enlightenment

Romanticism, Industrial Revolution

Romantic art is not romantic in the contemporary sense. It’s not referring to romantic comedies, or relationships. If you describe a person as “a Romantic” you'd be closer to the meaning and usage of the 19th century usage.

The period we call Romanticism covers, generally speaking, from the 1800-1860s. 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 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 November 08, 2022, 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, 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

Dido, Henry Fuseli

Dido Henry Fuseli, 1781

The Nightmare, Henry Fuseli

The Nightmare Henry Fuseli, 1781

Oedipus Cursing His Son Polynices, Henry Fuseli

Oedipus Cursing His Son Polynices Henry Fuseli, 1786

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

The Vision of the Deluge, Henry Fuseli

The Vision of the Deluge Henry Fuseli, 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

Next Movement
Oceanic Art, Industrial Revolution

Oceanic Art

10,000 islands, 1800 cultures and languages

1800 – 1925

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