How Do I Recognize Romanticism in Art?

The identification of theme, mood, and design in art can all be used to identify Romanticism. Emotion takes precedence over reality, and feelings take precedence over science in this painting style. Paintings are known for their clashing patterns and vibrant color use. They also looked to millennia of mythology and religion for inspiration. Francisco Goya and J.M.W. Turner, after whom the Turner Prize is named, are two well-known romantic artists.

While British and German thinkers and writers such as William Wordsworth and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe inspired written romanticism, romanticism in art was primarily influenced the French school of art. The Hudson River School was also influential in this regard in America. Romanticism lasted roughly from 1770 to 1870, but the romantics persisted after that date, albeit in smaller numbers. The movement also included ideas from Sir Walter Scott, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Johann Gottfried von Herder, as well as philosophical thought and literature.

The elevation of imagination over reality is a key feature of romanticism in art. Turner, Goya, and Orest Kiprensky all contributed to the definition of romanticism in art. They emphasized nature’s power, and as a result, landscapes and portraits were dominated nature. The wide variety of landscapes found in America inspired American romantics to paint them, resulting in a greater awareness and appreciation of the country’s natural beauty.

Others painted ancient ruins as part of their landscape paintings. Romantics wanted to show the fragility of man including old ruins, which can still be found scattered across Europe’s landscape. The romantic idea that nature would eventually overpower mankind was demonstrated the paintings when they were combined with nature. This is an outright denial of scientific attempts to control nature.

Rousseau and von Herder influenced philosophical ideas about nationalism and revolution directly. Nationalism became a dominant feature of a lot of romanticism in art when it was combined with national myths, such as the Kalevala in Finland, and local folklore. National events and feelings, such as the revolutions in Belgium and France, are frequently depicted in paintings.

Another factor in recognizing romanticism in art is the combination of local realism and flavor. While romantics believed that real life was important and deserving of attention, they also desired to combine it with the promotion of ideals. Realism was pushed aside in favor of imagination and creativity. As a result, American painters began to honor the noble savage, as Native Americans were viewed at the time.

One of the first artists to reject poetic diction was John Constable. He found beauty in nature’s ever-changing and ever-variable state and light. In famous paintings like “Chain Pier,” “The Leaping Horse,” and “The Lock at Dedham,” he chose to paint in atmosphere and use changing lighting.

Eugene Delacroix built on Constable’s work, but he is best known for two innovations. The vibrant use of color and nationalism are hallmarks of his romanticism in art. Impressionism would be inspired his use of color. “The Baroque at Dante” and “Combat of Giaour and Hassan” are two of his most famous works.