Factors leading to the rise of Romanticism Proliferation of Protestant denominations Independence in religion and politics Egalitarianism Rise of representative government Expansion in the ―new world‖ ―Evil‖ of industrialism and urbanization Significant rise in literacy
Factors leading to the rise of romanticism Confusion generated by science • Darwin’s Origin of Species stated humanity’s mean origins • Marx’s Das Kapital predicted capitalism’s decay and a triumphant working class
The Spirit of the age (1790 – 1860) A sense of a shared vision among the Romantics. Early support of the French Revolution. Rise of the individual = alienation. Dehumanization of industrialization. Radical poetics / politics = an obsession with violent change.
A growing distrust of reasonEnlightenment Early 19c RomanticismSociety is good, curbing Civilization corrupts!violent impulses! The essence of human experience is subjective and emotional. Human knowledge is a puny thing compared to other great historical forces. ―Individual rights‖ are dangerous efforts at selfishness = the community is more important.
The romanticism Movement Began in the 1790s and peaked in the 1820s. Mostly in Northern Europe, especially in Britain and Germany. A reaction against classicism and rationalism of the Enlightenment The ―Romantic Hero:‖ • Greatest example was Lord Byron • Tremendously popular among the European reading public. • Youth imitated his haughtiness and rebelliousness.
Characteristics of romanticism Individualism • Emphasis moved from: • the stability of the community to the fulfillment of the individual. • the universal to the particular, for humankind to nations and ethnic groups • ―Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness‖ was a new ideal in the world. • During this time period, Women’s Rights and Abolitionism were taking root as major movements.
Characteristics of romanticism Individualism: The ―Rugged‖ Hero • American literature created this unique person. He was: • Youthful, innocent, intuitive • One with nature • Loner, and uneasy around women • Handsome, brave, moral and honorable • In James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, Nattie Bumpo is an example of this new American hero
Characteristics of romanticism Individualism: The ―Engaged & Enraged Artist‖ • Self-realization comes through art • The artist as: • apart from society • social critic/revolutionary • genius • the true philosopher • Individuals have unique, endless potential Wandering Above the Sea of Fog Caspar David Friedrich, 1818
Characteristics of romanticism Emotionalism: • Imagination, intuition and inspiration • Feeling, not reason, became the test of authenticity. • Romantic love became a subject of poetry and drama. • Poetry is a form of emotional communication. • Painful and pleasurable emotions are equally valid to Romantic poets.
Characteristics of romanticism Emotionalism: • Backlash against the rationalism characterized by the Neoclassical period or ―Age of Reason‖ • Imagination was considered necessary for creating all art • The Romantic artist, musician, or writer, is an ―inspired creator‖ rather than a ―technical master.‖ • Romanticism emphasized going with the moment, or being spontaneous, rather than being precise, controlled, or realistic.
Characteristics of romanticism Rejection of Traditional Authority • Influenced by the American & French Revolutions • Government hierarchies, notions of sovereignty and aristocracy, and systems of distinction all fell. • Romantics believed that authority derives from the self, not from authority. • Newness itself was a value. • Political statements were popular in art
The Return of the (Jewish) Volunteer From War Moritz Oppenheim
Ossian Receiving the Ghosts of French Heroes Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy-Trioson
Characteristics of romanticism Nature: Mysticism • Romantics loved, and were spiritually involved, with nature • Romantic writing looked for comforting or exotic settings from the past • This was found in the supernatural, in nature, and/or in folk legends • Romantics glorified the awesome, horrifying, overwhelming power of nature
Characteristics of romanticism Primitivism: The Noble Savage • Romanticism: ―civilization corrupts; institutions have rippling effects‖ • The child raised with the greatest possible freedom will develop in more admirable ways. • Youth and infancy are valued above wisdom of old age; holy wisdom is lost as we age. • Innocence is more valued than experience. • Humans are born into innocence, not innately depraved.
Characteristics of romanticism Nature: Romantic Escapism • Urban vs. Rural Settings • The Romantic journey is to the countryside • The Industrial Revolution caused Romantics to associate cities with corruption, greed, poverty, slums and dehumanization • Nature = escape from the abuses of industry • The Romantics associated the country with independence, moral clarity, and purity • The Gothic Romantic, Edgar Allan Poe, saw the country as a place of phantasm • Washington Irving saw the country as idyllic and as an escape
Charge of the Mamelukes, May 2nd, 1808 Francisco Goya, 1814
The Royal Pavillion at Brighton Designed by John Nash, 1815-1823
Characteristics of romanticism Nature: Revival of Things Past • Gothic & Romanesque revival. • ―Neo-Gothic‖ architectural style. • Medieval ruins were a favorite theme for art and poetry. • Romanticism fed the development of the Gothic novel
Characteristics of romanticism Nature: The Gothic Novel • The Gothic novel had wild, haunted landscapes • It had supernatural events in the plot • It was often mysterious • The Gothic concept had roots in France, Germany, and England • Edgar Allan Poe was America’s greatest Romantic Gothic writer
Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Ground John Constable, 1825
Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows John Constable, 1831
Characteristics of romanticism Gothic Mysticism in Art & Literature: The Exotic, Occult & Macabre • In keeping with gothic themes, Romanticism was obsessed with the supernatural • Ghosts, fairies, witches, demons. • The shadows of the mind—dreams & madness. • The romantics rejected materialism in pursuit of spiritual self-awareness. • They yearned for the unknown and the unknowable.
Cloister Cemetary in the SnowCaspar David Friedrich, 1817 - 1819
Abbey in an Oak ForestCaspar David Friedrich, 1810
Mad Woman with a Mania of EnvyTheodore Gericault, 1823
The Age of the Great Novel Gothic Novel: • Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (1847) • Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (1847) Historical Novel: • Ivanhoe - Sir Walter Scott (1819) • Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (1862) • The Three Musketeers – Alexander Dumas(1844)
The Age of the Great Novel Science Fiction Novel: • Frankenstein - Mary Shelley (1817) • Dracula – Bramm Stoker (1897) Novel of Purpose: • Hugh Trevar - Thomas Holcroft (1794) Folklore • Grimm’s Fairy Tales - Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (1814)
The Age of the Great Novel The American Novel • Most American Romantic writers imitated the European writing style • American Romantic novelists broke away from the European tradition and discovered uniquely American topics and settings • American novelists explored the vast unknown lands – something the Europeans could not do
The Romantic Poets The Great English Romantic Poets • Percy Byssche Shelley • Lord Byron (George Gordon) • Samuel Taylor Coleridge • William Wordsworth • John Keats • William Blake
George Gordon’s (Lord Byron) Poem The Prisoner of Chillon
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Poem,The Rime of theAncient Mariner
The Romantic Poets The American Romantic Poets • Most Romantic poets worked within conventional European literary structures • They proved that American poetry could reflect American subject matter, yet still hold to conventional poetic style • Most American Romantic poets wrote about the past
The Romantic Poets The American Romantic Poets • The Fireside Poets, a Boston group of Longfellow, Whittier, Holmes, and Lowell, were widely read and loved in America • They were the television of the American Romantic period and families gathered around the fireside to be entertained by their poetry • Their subject matter was comfortable and instructional
Consequences of Romanticism• Violent outcomes of Romantic ideals • American Revolution (1775 – 1783) • French Revolution--storming of the Bastille in 1789 • The French Revolution derived from and generated Romantic ideas. • Both revolutions developed from strong convictions about the innate rights of individuals.
Consequences of Romanticism• Movement from rural to urban settings • There was a move to city for industry and a corresponding romanticizing of the country. • Cities were often filled with congestion, poverty, and misery. • Educated men and women expressed a nostalgia for rural landscapes.
Consequences of Romanticism Political Implications • Romanticism could reinforce the greatest themes of political liberalism or political conservatism • Contributed to growing nationalist movements • The concepts of the ―Volk‖ and the ―Volkgeist‖ • The uniqueness of cultures was emphasized
Bibliography CGFA: A Virtual Art Museum. http://cgfa.sunsite.dk/fineart.htm ―Romanticism‖ on Archive. http://artchive.com/artchive/romanticism.html Susan M. Pojer’s presentation: ―Romanticism: The Artisitic Expression of Liberalism‖ for Horace Greeley HS, NY www.huffenglish.com/powerpoints/Romanticism.ppt