Romanticism The Romantics 1780-1830 Definition: Romanticism is an attitude toward nature, humanity, and society that championed freedom and individualism. Romanticism was the dominating philosophy during the 50 year period between 1780-1830. The Romantic Age was a shift from the ideas of the Classical Age. During the Classical Age, writers valued reason, clarity, balance, and order, which were all things embodied in classical Greek literature. Writers in the Romantic Age celebrated: • imagination • emotions • nature • humanity Definition Romanticism refers to a movement in art, literature, and music during the 19th century. Romanticism is characterized by the 5 “I”s Imagination Intuition Idealism Inspiration Individuality Imagination Imagination was emphasized over “reason.” This was a backlash against the rationalism characterized by the Neoclassical period or “Age of Reason.” Imagination was considered necessary for creating all art. British writer Samuel Taylor Coleridge called it “intellectual intuition.” Intuition Romantics placed value on “intuition,” or feeling and instincts, over reason. Emotions were important in Romantic art. British Romantic William Wordsworth described poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.” Idealism Idealism is the concept that we can make the world a better place. Idealism refers to any theory that emphasizes the spirit, the mind, or language over matter – thought has a crucial role in making the world the way it is. Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher, held that the mind forces the world we perceive to take the shape of space-and-time. Inspiration The Romantic artist, musician, or writer, is an “inspired creator” rather than a “technical master.” What this means is “going with the moment” or being spontaneous, rather than “getting it precise.” Individuality Romantics celebrated the individual. During this time period, Women’s Rights and Abolitionism were taking root as major movements. Walt Whitman, a later Romantic writer, would write a poem entitled “Song of Myself”: it begins, “I celebrate myself…” Origins Romanticism began to take root as a movement following the French Revolution and the American Revolution. The publication of Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1792 is considered the beginning of literary Romanticism. The Industrial Revolution: The result of the Neoclassical fascination with order, reason, and science was a wealth of technological advances that fueled an economic shift called the Industrial Revolution. In many ways, Romantic ideals were a reaction to the injustices of the Industrial Revolution. There was also a rising awareness of the need for social justice for individuals, especially for children, women, and slaves. All of these revisions were a direct result from an increased focus on the needs of every individual. The Arts Romanticism was a movement across all the arts: visual art, music, and literature. All of the arts embraced themes prevalent in the Middle Ages: chivalry, courtly love. Literature and art from this time depicted these themes. Music (ballets and operas) illustrated these themes. Shakespeare came back into vogue. Visual Arts Neoclassical art was rigid, severe, and unemotional; it hearkened back to ancient Greece and Rome Romantic art was emotional, deeplyfelt, individualistic, and exotic. It has been described as a reaction to Neoclassicism, or “anti-Classicism.” Albert Bierstadt, Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, 1868 What kinds of feelings does this painting evoke? Thomas Cole, 1842, The Voyage of Life Old Age Romantics believed that human life and nature were connected. Man cam from earth and would return. Society became fascinated with the medieval period— castles, knights, honor, the unknown, the imaginative characters that could have existed… John William Waterhouse The Lady of Shalott 1888, after a poem by Tennyson; like many Victorian paintings, romantic but not Romantic Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, 1818 Notice this man is above the fog…why? Thomas Cole’s The Oxbow What contrasts do you see? How can they relate to the Romantics’ views? Thomas Cole’s Catskill Scenery Can you see a contrast between untouched nature and civilization? Thomas Cole’s Indian Sacrifice Think about the Music “Classical” musicians included composers like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Josef Haydn. See Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Romantic musicians included composers like Frederic Chopin, Franz Lizst, Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky Music: Components 1730-1820. 1800-1910. Classical music emphasized internal order and balance. Romantic music emphasized expression of feelings. Literature In America, Romanticism most strongly impacted literature. Writers explored supernatural and gothic themes. Writers wrote about nature – Transcendentalists believed God was IN nature, unlike “Age of Reason” writers like Franklin and Jefferson, who saw God as a “divine watchmaker,” who created the universe and left it to run itself.