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Romanticism

Art comes in many forms. From the mind-boggling adventures of Surrealism to the beautiful landscapes of the Hudson River School, every genre of art has its own unique appeal. One of the most mystifying, emotional, and beautiful genres is Romanticism. The word romantic comes from 18th -century English, and originally meant “romance-like”, referring to anything resembling fanciful medieval romances. Later on, the word evolved into an association with the newly emerged hunger of the populace for wild scenery, ruins, and sublime prospects. This hunger stemmed from an emphasis in the art world on the sublime instead of the beautiful. Writer and statesman Edmund Burke thought of beauty as “delicacy and harmony”, and viewed the sublime as “vastness, obscurity, and a capacity to inspire terror”. In the 18th century, reason was abandoned for emotion in both literature and ethics. The leaders in this ‘Emotional Evolution’ were French novelist Jean Jacques Rousseau, English poet and painter William Blake and the Spanish artist Francisco Goya. In France, romanticism went through its early stages at the same time as the Napoleonic Wars were fought (1799-1815). The first French romantics were inspired by the events of the wars, and the reaction of the general populace as the wars were going on. Antoine Jean Gros went from neoclassicism to romanticism by abandoning the sober style of his teacher and embracing the influence of the colorful and emotional style used by Flemish baroque painter Peter Paul Reubens. Gros developed his own style of painting through a series of battle paintings, which glorified Napoleon. The driving force for French romanticism was Theodore Gericault. Gericault took dramatic color and emotion to the extreme, and switched the emphasis of battle paintings from heroism to pain and suffering. In Wounded Cuirassier (1814) Gericault uses powerful brushstrokes and light and dark shades add to the isola...

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Romanticism. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 04:41, December 20, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/91114.html