History Short – The Romantic Era (Art and Literature)



the Romantic era the Romantic era aka romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement throughout Europe that went against Enlightenment ideas this movement put emphasis on emotion freedom imagination and the heart rather than the mind how do yer Appiah pnes express these ideas the most obvious way was through art romantic painters use medieval life as the basis of their work they saw powerful religious devotion and stability in the lives of those who live during the Middle Ages we would call the style of living politically conservative because of their opposition to the rapidly changing world around them a prime example of such a person would be an English landscape painter by the name of John Constable his famous painting Salsbury cathedral from the meadows displays a cathedral in the background surrounded by a softly John scenery horses pull a wagon and its rider through a small pond while a rainbow illuminates the clouds in the distance constable portrayed a stable world with neither political turmoil or industrial development challenging the power of the church or landowners like most romantic painters constable regarded rural lifestyle as more suitable than a cluttered urban industrial life but paintings weren't the only art forms affected by the movement there was a neo-gothic revival in architecture that led to the restoration of many medieval cathedrals churches and other public buildings the most prominent neo-gothic structure built was the castle of new Schwann Stein by king ludwig ii of bavaria this castle nearly bankrupted the nation besides buildings romantic painters wanted to depict nature in all its glory but instead of portraying it in its regular state of beauty they went above and beyond to fit the idea of sublime art the sublime is art dealing mostly with objects of nature that has the ability to strike unfathomable aw or emotion in the viewer emotions so powerful that it makes the audience question how many things they really can control in their lives an example of such an artist who portrayed the sublime was German artist Caspar David Friedrich his painting The Polar Sea shows a polarizing golfing and crushing a boat a fine example of nature's mighty power Joseph Mallord William Turner was another Romantic artist who drew rein steam and speed the Great Western Railway Turner's paintings differs from fried works as it shows a recently invented railway engine riding through a storm this demonstrates how nature's power although angry and beautiful can be matched and even dominated by humans potential another way the Romantic era was expressed was through literature the term romantic was used to describe unreal sentimental and / imaginative works of literature a significant writer during the Romantic movement was Johann Gottfried herder who brought the term romantic and gothic into literature abandoning traditional forms of classical writing a majority of the literature movement can be divided into English and German writings English Romantic writings favoured poetry and believed that poetry was enhanced by freely following the creative impulses of the mind this now redefined poetry thought to be merely an exercise of the mind as an important expression of the mind an English writer by the name of Samuel Taylor Coleridge believed that imagination was God at work in the mind he once said a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I am Coleridge wanted man to go beyond the normal arts and writings to a new form that included nature and human nature William Wordsworth another English writer was a close friend of Coleridge's these two friends wrote many poems together but when both began losing their poetic inspiration they fear the worst Wordsworth belief that he was living losing what he would lose when we mature our childlike vision and closeness to a spiritual reality Coleridge and Wordsworth both saw childhood as a period of creative imagination Lord Byron was another controversial English writer during the Romantic era he found himself being disliked by fellow romantic writers in Great Britain because he had no sympathy for the English views on imagination beyond the borders of England he was seen as a result of the revolution against the old ways he wrote the book Don Juan in 1819 where he demonstrated nature's cruelty and beauty yet displayed an unlikely craze of urban life written in text German writings emphasised novels and books unlike English Romantic writings the novels were usually highly sentimental and influenced by written work from the medieval era such as their romance works Friedrich Schlegel was a German writer who wrote the novel Lucinda in 1799 in this novel the main character loosen'd was a female who is depicted as the perfect companion to the male hero this was incredibly controversial because he showed that woman was of equal standing to her male counterpart she Lego had written this novel to denounce any prejudices against women which include the popular belief that their one and only role was as housewives another german writer was Johan Wolfgang von Goethe who is found to be one of the more famous German writers he wrote many famous books the one that launched the sixth his success was the Sorrows of Young Werther which put emphasis on emotion and living beyond a polite society however geodes greatest work was a two-part poem titled Faust this woman told the story of Faust a man who sold his soul for knowledge greater than any other human he seduces a woman named Gretchen who ends up passing away grieving he dedicates his life to improve humankind and eventually breaks the pact with the devil and gets revived by the Angels

20 thoughts on “History Short – The Romantic Era (Art and Literature)

  1. Nice intro to romanticism, language is always changing and plastic, so don't let non standard pronunciations detract from this concise intro to an often muddled subject.

  2. Interesting you need to pronounce Salisbury as salls (drag out the first part of the word) bury

  3. Well done and fun. I enjoyed showing your short to my first year college students. Most wither when introducing them to Romanticism through traditional PBS documentaries. BTW: I've always heard Goethe pronounced as Ger-ta using a hard R, but I'm not a Germanist. So…do you have on Victorianism?! Cheers.

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