Context• The ideas of Rousseau greatly inspired the rise of Romanticism,which peaked between approximately 1800-1850.• Romanticism emerged from a desire for freedom (of religion,speech, politics, thought, action, and taste). Romantics believedthe path to freedom was through imagination rather than reason,and functioned through feeling rather than through thinking.• Inspired in part by German Sturm und Drang (“Storm andStress”) movement, which favored violent, often irrationalemotion over the rationality of the Enlightenment.• Favored emotions, such as awe, horror, terror, and fear• Anti-Enlightenment, pro-emotion. Artists were free to expressthemselves, instead of relying on Classical forms/proportions.• Reaction to urbanization/industrialization. Escape throughimagination.• Interest in the “dark ages” (middle-ages), which were associatedwith barbarism, superstition, mystery, miracle, and grotesque,nightmarish fantasies.• Interest in the exotic and different.
The Nightmare The Nightmare Henry Fuseli• An artist who helped begin the transition from Neoclassical to 1781. Oil on canvas.Romantic art was the Swiss-born Henry Fuseli, who moved in 3’4” x 4’1”England and became a member of the Royal Academy.• Fuseli focused on the dark fantasies of his vivid imagination,depicting horrifying nightmares, the demonic, the macabre, andthe sadistic.• In this painting, a young woman sleeps fitfully, with an evilnightmare perched upon her chest, while a ghostly horse withwhite eyes looks on from behind a curtain.• “Nightmare” may seem like a pun on “night” and “mare,” butactually the word derives from the Scandinavian word “mara” (atype of demon that tortures victims while they sleep).• Fuseli was the first to depict the dark terrain of the humansubconscious that became an important subject matter for laterartists.
Blake• In addition to being a prolific engraver, William Blake was alsoa renowned poet and painter.• Blake admired ancient Greek art because it exemplified for himthe mathematical and thus the eternal, and his work oftencontains classical references.• However, Blake did not align himself with the Neoclassicists,choosing instead to derive the inspiration for many of hispaintings and poems from his dreams.• Blake believed the rationalist search for scientific explanationsof the world stifled the spiritual side of human nature, BUT healso believed that the dogma and rules of orthodox religionskilled individual creativity.• In his depiction of God, he combined the idea of the Creatorwith that of wisdom as a part of God (indicated by the rays oflight that also resemble an architect’s measuring tool).• Blake used the Ancient of Days image as the frontispiece (anillustration page facing the title page of a book) for his bookEurope: A Prophecy. Ancient of Days• He labeled the frontispiece illustration with a Biblical quote: Frontispiece of Europe: A Prophecy“When he set a compass upon the face of the deep,” from William Blake, 1794.Proverbs 8:27. The narrator of the quote is Wisdom, who Metal relief etching, hand colored.describes being with God during the time of creation. 9”x7”
Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters • Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828). Spanish.Sleep of Reason • The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters was made using aProduces combination of etching and aquatint (a type of intaglio printingMonsters, from Los which, like etching, involves biting a zinc or copper plate withCaprichos. acid to create a groove which will hold the ink. However, inFrancisco Goya.C. 1798. regular etching, marks are made in a solid ground using aEtching and needle, whereas with aquatint, powdered rosin replaces theaquatint. ground. The powdered rosin is heated enough to stick it to the8.5” x 6”. plate, and it then protects small dots of the plate from the acid bath, creating a speckled effect). • Although Goya was a contemporary of David, he rejected Neoclassicism (but not without much deliberation). • The figure in the image is Goya himself, sleeping, while owls (symbolic of folly) and bats (symbols of ignorance) swirl about. • Is this a portrayal of what emerges when reason is suppressed, as an endorsement of Enlightenment ideals? Or is it a depiction of Goya’s commitment to the creative process and the Romantic spirit, in which he is willing to unleash imagination, emotion, and nightmares for his art?
Family of Charles IV Family of Charles IV Goya. 1800.• Goya was the court painter under the Spanish king Charles IV. Oil on canvas. 10’ x 11’Goya was torn by his role as court painter (who owed allegianceto the king) and his desire for a more free Spain.• Like Velasquez before him, Goya included himself in the image,to help elevate his position as an artist.• Historians have argued that Goya tried to subtly make the royalfamily seem ridiculous in this portrait.• The king stares blankly outward, while the queen (who washaving an affair with the prime minister at the time) looksoutward at an angle towards the viewer. A startled lookingfamily member looks out from behind the king (a face perhapsadded at the last minute).• After growing dissatisfaction with King Charles IV, the publicthrew their support behind his son, Ferdinand VII, whorequested help from Napoleon, who obliged.• Once Charles was overthrown, Napoleon placed his brother detailJoseph Bonaparte on the Spanish throne.
Third of May, 1808 Francisco Goya, 1815. Goya’s Scenes of WarOil on canvas. 8’9” x 13’4” • The Spanish people, finally recognizing the French as invaders, attacked Napoleon’s soldiers in a chaotic and violent clash on May 2, 1808. • In retaliation, Napoleon ordered his troops the next day to round up and execute Spanish citizens. This tragic event is the subject of Goya’s Third of May, 1808 painting. • Third of May, 1808 was commissioned by Ferdinand VII in 1814 after he had reclaimed the throne after the final ouster of the French. • What creates a sense of drama in this image? • Why are the Spanish peasants more relatable/sympathetic than the French firing squad? • What does the man with his hands in the air resemble? • Goya also created a large variety of etchings depicting the various atrocities and horrors of the war, known collectively as the Disasters of War.
Saturn Devouring One of his ChildrenGoya, 1823. Fresco, later detached Saturn Devouring One of his Childrenand mounted on canvas.4’9” x 2’8” • Over time, Goya became increasingly disillusioned and pessimistic, worsened by his failing health. • Among Goya’s later works are the “Black Paintings,” frescoes he painted on the walls of his farmhouse near Madrid. • These works were made solely for himself, and are thus pure insight into his state of mind, unsullied by the agenda of a patron. • In this image, Saturn (aka Chronos) is depicted devouring his children (the gods/goddesses of Olympus). Instead of swallowing them whole, he rips them apart in a scene of bloody carnage. • In what ways is Saturn made too look more horrifying? • Because of the similarity of Chronos the god and chronos the Greek word for time, Saturn was associated with time. Some art historians have suggested the painting was an expression of the artist’s despair over the passage of time.
Raft of the Medusa Raft of the Medusa Theodore Gericault• Although Gericault (JER-ri-coh) had completed extensive 1819. Oil on canvas. 16’1” x 23’6”.classical training, he preferred to create art with emotional forceand dramatic complexity, eschewing Neoclassical rigidity.• This painting depicts the event of the shipwreck of the Medusa,a French frigate which ran aground on a reef off the coast ofSenegal, Africa, due to the incompetence of the captain, apolitical appointee who reserved all 6 lifeboats for himself andhis cronies (a big political scandal once the news broke).• 150 passengers built a makeshift raft from pieces of the ship,but over the course of 13 days, the number of survivors fell toonly 15.• In this large painting, Gericault captured the horror, chaos, andemotion of the event, as suffering, emaciated survivors attemptto flag down the distant ship that ultimately saved them.• Gericault ensured the accuracy of his representation by visitinghospitals and morgues to examine corpses and the sickly,interviewed the actual survivors, and had a model of the raft • The man waving the flag at the apex of the figures is of Africanconstructed in his studio. descent, and shows Gericault’s abolitionist beliefs. Also, shows• Figures are arranged in a messy, writhing, x-shaped heap (very that freedom is often dependent on the most oppresseddifferent from orderly Neoclassicism). members of society.• Designed as a jibe against the king (Louis XVIII), and a reminder • No patron. Instead, the painting was put on a 2 year tour ofof the perils of political corruption. Ireland/England, where over 50,000 visitors paid to see it.
Insane Woman Insane Woman Gericault. 1823.• Mental aberration interested the Romantic artists who Oil on canvas.rebelled against Enlightenment rationality. 2’4” x 1’9”• Gericault believed (as was common at the time) that thehuman face accurately revealed character, especially at themoment of death and in madness.• Gericault made numerous studies of the inmates of institutionsfor the insane, and he studied the severed heads of guillotinevictims.• Scientific and artistic curiosity accompanied the morbidity ofthe Romantic interest in derangement and death.• In this portrait of an insane woman, Gericault breaks sharplywith idealized traditional portraiture.• What aspects of this artwork might indicate the sitter’s state ofmind?
Napoleon in the Plague House at JaffaAntoine-Jean Gros. 1804. Oil on canvas, 17’5” x 23’7”. Gros • Gros was a student of David’s since he was a teenager, but eventually came to compete with David for Napoleon’s commissions. • Gros travelled with Napoleon on his expeditions, and eventually became the official painter of his military expeditions. • This painting of an actual event was done in the Grand Manner. • During Napoleon’s campaign against the Ottoman Turks in 1799, an outbreak of the bubonic plague killed many on both sides. To quell the fears of his still-healthy soldiers, Napoleon visited the sick who had been quarantined in a converted mosque in Jaffa (present-day Israel). • Napoleon reaches out to touch the sores of a sick man, reminiscent of Christ healing the sick. • The figures on the lower left are similar to the figures in the hellmouth of Michelangelo’s Last Judgment. • Although the figures are arranged on a shallow stage like in David’s Oath of the Horatii, The loose brushwork, warm colors, and emotional resonance characterize this work as Romantic. Also, the focus is on Napoleon, not civic virtue. • A rumor was spreading that Napoleon had ordered the remaining sick poisoned after he left Jaffa.
Liberty Leading the People: July 28, 1830Eugene Delacroix. 1830. Oil on canvas. 8’6” x 10’8” Delacroix • When Napoleon was defeated in 1815, the victorious neighboring nations re-imposed a monarchy on France under Louis XVIII (brother of Louis XVI). Although the king’s power was initially limited by a constitution and a parliament, over time he began undoing revolutionary reforms. • Louis XVIII’s successor was Charles X, who reinstated press censorship, returned education to the Catholic Church, and limited voting rights. • The people staged an uprising in Paris over the course of 3 days in July 1830. The Bourbon monarchical line was overthrown and replaced with a more moderate king from the Orleanist line, who promised to follow a constitution. This period in history is known as the July Monarchy. • How do we know this is set in Paris? • What is unusual about the assortment of rebels? • Liberty carries a modern weapon and a Phyrgian cap (the ancient symbol for a freed slave and the cap used by the rebels). • The moment is emotionally charged, full of turmoil, passion, and danger. The revolutionaries charge the barricades to almost Phyrgian cap certain death, making this a dramatic example of Romanticism.
Death of Sardanapalus. Eugene Delacroix, 1827. Oil on Delacroix canvas. 12’1” x 16’3” • Much as the followers Poussin and Rubens quarreled in the late 1700s, so did art historians quarrel over the superiority of Delacroix or Ingres (Delacroix’s Neoclassical contemporary who painted Grande Odalisque and Apotheosis of Homer). • Poussin and Ingres shared a cleaner, more linear and rational style, whereas Delacroix and Rubens were more coloristic and emotional. • This work was inspired by the Lord Byron poem Sardanapalus. Poetry/literature were studied closely by Romantic artists. • This image depicts the last hour of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal, whom the Greeks called Sardanapalus. The king just learned of his armies’ defeat and the enemies’ entry into his city. • Although Byron’s poem described the moment as a solemn suicide, Delacroix reimagines it as an hour of orgiastic destruction. • As Ashurnabanipal reclines on his soon-to-be funeral pyre, he watches the destruction of his most prized possessions (concubines, slaves, treasure, animals). A slave stabs a concubine in the neck. Another concubine throws herself onto the pyre.• The novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, is an example of • This is another example of the Romantic interest in exoticismRomantic literature. In what ways does the story exemplify and eroticism.Romanticism?
Delacroix in Morocco Tiger Hunt Delacroix, 1854.• Although Romantic painters had no problem with depicting Oil on canvas. 2’5” x 3’exotic faraway places they had never seen, Delacroix decided tojourney to Morocco (northern Africa) in 1832.• While there, he found the culture more closely related toancient Greece and Rome than in contemporary Rome, with theMoroccan’s fierce love of liberty, gallantry, and valor.• His voyage reinforced his Romantic belief that beauty exists inthe fierceness of nature, natural processes, and natural beings,especially animals.• In his later years, more of Delacroix paintings depicted animals,often fighting each other or a human.• Although Delacroix was interested in and admired Moroccanculture, he still described it as being “primitive,” indicating thathe believed it was less sophisticated than his own home culture.
Departure of the Volunteers• Francois Rude’s sculpture depicted here incorporates bothRomantic and Neoclassical elements. Departure of the• This colossal relief decorates the Arc de Triomphe in Paris Volunteers of 1792(164’ tall), which was commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon to (La Marseillaise)commemorate the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars François Rude(completed in 1840). Arc de Triomphe,• Construction of the arch was halted after Napoleon’s defeat Paris, France.until 1833, after which this sculptural group was added. 1836. Limestone. 41’ 8” high.• The Roman goddess of war Bellona encourages the patriotsof all ages below to defend France’s borders against theforeign enemies of the revolution in 1792.• Bellona personifies liberty as well as the Marseillaise, therevolutionary hymn that is now France’s national anthem.• The figures (like David’s) are classically armored or heroicallynude, and thus somewhat Neoclassical.• However, their messy, energetic, overlapping arrangement ismore similar to Romantic style.• As with Delacroix’s Liberty, Bellona is wearing a Phyrgiancap, symbol of freedom.
19th Century Landscapes Abbey in the Oak Forest Caspar David Friedrich, 1810.• Tourism, made possible by a new extensive railway network inEurope and the U.S.A. increased popularity of landscapes.• The notion of the picturesque (worth of being painted) wasimportant to Romantic artists.• Rather than simply describe nature, Romantic artists would usenature as an allegory, thereby commenting on spiritual, moral,historical, or philosophical issues.• Romantics viewed nature as a “being” that included the totalityof existence in organic unity and harmony.• The unification of the soul with the natural world was apopular theme.• Artists no longer merely beheld a landscape, but participated inits spirit, becoming translators of nature’s transcendentmeanings.• Artists used landscape to depict the sublime, which, at the timeof Romanticism, was thought of as a combination of thegrotesque and beautiful, instead of a classical ideal of perfection.
Friedrich Wanderer above a Sea of Mist. Caspar David Friedrich, 1818.• For Caspar David Friedrich, landscapes were temples, and his Oil on canvas. 3’2” x 2’5”.paintings were altarpieces, demanding silent reverence.• In Abbey in the Oak Forest, the sacred ruins of an old Gothicchurch serve as an appropriate setting for a solemn requiem(Mass for the dead), as a procession of mourners carry theirrecently deceased to his gravesite.• The signs of death are in the destruction of the church, thebarren trees, and the bleak, wintery weather.• Although in many of Friedrich’s paintings, human figures play aminimal role, others feature a prominent figure gazing at thelandscape being depicted before them.• Wanderer above a Sea of Mist depicts a man in old-fashionedGerman attire, leaning on a cane, and surveying the mountains,mist, and rocks around him.• Scholars disagree about whether Friedrich intended the viewerto identify with the man seen from behind, or if he wanted theviewer to contemplate the man gazing at the misty landscape.• In either case, the artist communicated an almost religious aweat the beauty and vastness of the natural world.
The HaywainJohn Constable. 1821. Oil on The Haywain canvas. 51” x 73” • Industrialization also affected farmers who chose not to move into an urban center. The effect of industrialization on the prices of crops lead to many small farmers not being able to afford to make a living working their small farms. • Constable was inspired by this agrarian crisis. • He made countless studies from nature, then produced his final, idealized paintings in his studio based on his sketches. • Constable was also a meteorologist, as is evident in his ability to capture the texture that climate and weather give to a scene. His paintings depict his father’s property in Suffolk. • He used tiny dabs of color and white to create a sparkling shimmer of light and hue across the canvas. • What is the mood of the painting? • The relaxed figures are not observers but participants in the landscape (“one with nature”) • The image does not show the civil unrest (including riots and arson) of the agrarian working class. Instead, the painting has a nostalgic, wistful air to it, reflecting Constable’s memories of a disappearing rural pastoralism. The nostalgia is what makes the painting Romantic.
The Slave Ship Slavers Throwing Overboar the Dead and Dying – Typhoon Coming On (The Slave Ship). Joseph Mallord William Turner. 1840.• Constable is often pitted against his contemporary but stylistic Oil on canvas. 36” x 48”.opposite, Joseph Mallord William Turner.• Although both men were inspired by the encroachment ofindustrialization, Constables paintings are serene and preciselypainted, whereas Turner’s paintings are notable for theirpassion, energy, and loose, gestural brush strokes.• Turner attempted to attain the Romantic notion of thesublime: awe and beauty mixed with terror.• The painting depicts an incited involving a slave ship that wascaught in the path of a typhoon (violent sea storm). Uponrealizing his insurance company would reimburse him only forslaves lost at sea due to storms, but not for those who died enroute for other reasons (like disease), all of the sick and dyingslaves were thrown overboard.• Although at first this image seems beautiful, upon closerinspection were notice with horror the drowning sick slaves, stillshackled together, still reaching upward, fighting to live.• Turner’s frenzied emotional depiction of this act matches itsbarbaric nature.• The small human forms compared with the vast sea and skyreinforces the sense of the sublime, especially the immensepower of nature over humans.
Burning of the Houses The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 16 th October 1834 Turner. Oil on canvas. 36” x 48”.• This image depicts the immense fire which tragically destroyed theancient British houses of parliament. The House of Lords wascompletely destroyed, and the House of Commons was left without aroof.• The viewer of the painting watches the blaze amongst a crowd ofother onlookers.• This painting captures the idea of the sublime – the fire is awesomeand terrible at the same time.• In Rain, Steam, and Speed, a new locomotive glides through apastoral landscape, while a small fishing boat quietly floats nearby.This contrasts the forceful progress of technology with the quietstillness of the rural past and nature.• The key ingredient of Turner’s highly personal style was his emotivepower of pure color. The haziness of the painter’s forms and theindistinctness of his compositions intensify the colors and energeticbrushstrokes.• Turner broke open the emotive and aesthetic power of paint itself,making a huge impact on Impressionist and abstract art that came Rain, Steam,later. and Speed
The Oxbow (View from Mt. Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm). The Oxbow Thomas Cole. 1836. Oil on canvas. 51” x 76” • In the United States, landscape painting was the specialty of a group of artists known as the Hudson River School, so named because its members drew their subjects primarily from the uncultivated regions of New York’s Hudson River Valley (although they depicted scenes from across the continent). • The Hudson River School artists explored the individual’s and the country’s relationship to the land, and focused on identifying qualities that made America unique. • The Hudson River artists also addressed the direction the new country would take, as this painting does, with the more wild, stormy depiction of the country on the left, and the calmer, more cultivated country on the right. • Can you spot the artist amongst the wilds? • The figure turns to the viewer as if to ask for input in deciding the country’s future. • Thomas Cole was originally from Britain, but he moved to and lived in the United States.
Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California Albert Bierstadt. 1868. Oil on canvas. 6’ x 10’. Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains • Bierstadt traveled west and depicted the Rocky Mountains, Yosemite Valley, and other dramatic locales. • The image shows the idyllic beauty of the west. A placid lake is framed with rugged, high mountains (with waterfalls) one the left and a tall stand of trees on the right. Deer peacefully walk in the foreground, and sunbeams burst through the clouds above. • This emphasis on the beauty of the west is connected to the idea of Manifest Destiny – the American “right” to multiply and spread ever-westward, until the entire continent was American. • The idealization of this scene assuages the negative aspects of reality – westward expansion came at the cost of displacing Native Americans and exploiting natural resources. • Bierstadt’s greatest patrons were railroad and mail-order magnates, who had a financial interest in westward expansion.
Twilight in the Wilderness Twilight in the Wilderness Frederic Edwin Church• Frederic Edwin Church was widely travelled (North and South c. 1860. Oil/canvas. 3’4” x 5’4”.America, Mexico, Europe, Middle East, and Canada).• This image depicts a beautiful sunset over a peacefulwilderness.• Like Constable’s Haywain, this peaceful image is notable forwhat it does not depict – what historical event was happening inAmerica at this time?• This image maintains an air of righteousness and divineprovidence – the “rightful” ideal of American destiny, which hadof late become uncertain.
British Houses of Parliament Houses of Parliament, London Charles Barry and• After the burning of the Houses of Parliament in 1834, the Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin.Parliamentary Commission decreed that designs for the new Designed 1835.building be either Gothic or Elizabethan, thereby celebratingtraditional English architecture, and adding a sense of history.• Barry was widely traveled (Europe, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, andPalestine), and he preferred classical Renaissance styles.• Pugin, the author of True Principles of Pointed or ChristianArchitecture, admired the architecture of Gothic churches fortheir moral and spiritual purity, and successfully influenced Barryin that direction.• Pugin also admired the careful hand-craftsmanship of theGothic churches, and lamented the poor-quality machine-madeitems of the Industrial Revolution. He equated careful artisanshipwith honesty and quality.• Their collaboration resulted in a formal axial plan withPalladian regularity, decorated with elaborate Neo-Gothicdetails.• On the right is the Clock tower, housing Big Ben, and on the leftis Victoria Tower.
Royal Pavilion John Nash. 1818. Royal PavilionBrighton, England. • Although the period was dominated by Neoclassical and Neo- Gothic style, exotic new styles also appeared. • The prince regent (later King George IV) asked Nash to design a royal pleasure palace in the English seaside resort of Brighton. • The architecture of Greece, Egypt, and China influenced the interior design, but the exterior is a mix of Islamic domes, minarets, and screens architectural historians describe as “Indian Gothic.” • The structural framework is cast iron, an early use of the material in monumental building construction. •This building has served as a prototype for countless playful architectural exaggerations still found in European and American resorts.
Paris Opera • The Paris Opera was decorated using Baroque traditions, as it stylistically conveyed the vast riches of the European elite that visited it. • The opera house has a festive and spectacularly theatrical Neo- Baroque front and two wings resembling Baroque domed central-plan churches. • Inside, intricate arrangements of corridors, vestibules, stairways, balconies, alcoves, entrances, and exits facilitates easy passage throughout the building, and enables space for socializing at intermission. • The grandeur of the layout and ornamental details are characteristic of an architectural style called Beaux-Arts (late Paris Opera 19th-early 20th century France).Charles Garnier. • The Beaux-Arts style incorporated classical principles (such as 1861-1874. symmetry in design) and featured extensive exterior ornamentation. • The lavish Beaux-Arts style was wildly popular with the conspicuously wealthy and fashionable elite.