Romanticism in painting  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In European painting, led by a new generation of the French school, the Romantic sensibility contrasted with the neoclassicism being taught in the academies. In a revived clash between color and design, the expressiveness and mood of color, as in works of J. M. W. Turner, Francisco Goya, Théodore Géricault (with The Raft of the Medusa often held to be the first romantic painting) and Eugène Delacroix, emphasized in the new prominence of the brushstroke and impasto the artist's free handling of paint, which tended to be repressed in neoclassicism under a self-effacing finish.

Thematically, Kenneth Clark in The Romantic Rebellion (1973) is quoted as saying that “witches, tortures, shipwrecks, assassinations" are central to the "iconography of Romanticism."

As in England with J.M.W. Turner and Samuel Palmer, Germany with Caspar David Friedrich, Norway with J. C. Dahl and Hans Gude, Spain with Francisco Goya, and France with Théodore Géricault, Eugène Delacroix, Théodore Chassériau, and others; literary Romanticism had its counterpart in the American visual arts, most especially in the exaltation of an untamed American landscape found in the paintings of the Hudson River School. Painters like Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Edwin Church and others often expressed Romantic themes in their paintings. They sometimes depicted ancient ruins of the old world, such as in Fredric Edwin Church’s piece Sunrise in Syria. These works reflected the Gothic feelings of death and decay. They also show the Romantic ideal that Nature is powerful and will eventually overcome the transient creations of men. More often, they worked to distinguish themselves from their European counterparts by depicting uniquely American scenes and landscapes. This idea of an American identity in the art world is reflected in W. C. Bryant’s poem, To Cole, the Painter, Departing for Europe, where Bryant encourages Cole to remember the powerful scenes that can only be found in America. This poem also shows the tight connection that existed between the literary and visual artists of the Romantic Era.

Some American paintings promote the literary idea of the “noble savage” (Such as Albert Bierstadt’s The Rocky Mountains, Landers Peak) by portraying idealized Native Americans living in harmony with the natural world.

Thomas Cole's paintings feature strong narratives as in The Voyage of Life series painted in the early 1840s that depict man trying to survive amidst an awesome and immense nature, from the cradle to the grave.

See also

Romanticism, painting




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Romanticism in painting" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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