The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters


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Principle Artists influenced by the Romanticism

Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (1817-1900) Russian

John Constable (1776-1837) English,

Eugène Delacroix (1798 - 1863) French,

William Blake (1757 - 1827) English,

Albert Bierstadt (1830 - 1902) American

John William Waterhouse (1849 - 1917) English

Joseph Mallord Turner (1775-1851) English

Description of Romanticism Style of painting



Romanticism originated in Germany and quickly moved to England in the early 1780s. In the beginning the romantic movement was advanced mainly by a number of German writers and poets. Their influence on painters was inspiring and lasting. According to French art historian W. C. Brownell, "It is true that, rightly understood, the romantic epoch is a period of evolution, and orderly evolution at that, if we look below the surface, rather than of systematic defiance and revolt. It is true that it recast rather than repudiated its inheritance of tradition. Nevertheless there has never been a time when the individual felt himself so free, when every man of any original genius felt so keenly the exhilaration of independence, when the "schools" of painting exercised less tyranny and, indeed, counted for so little. If it be exact to speak of the "romantic school" at all, it should be borne in mind that its adherents were men of the most marked and diverse individualities ever grouped under one standard. "

The Romantics exalted courtly love and sought only poetry and truth. They refused to be restricted by the traditional approach to still-lifes, seascapes, and landscapes. They explored a classical and increasingly decorative painting style in which structure, forms and luminescent colours were seen as having the power to evoke an emotional, and even spiritual, response in the viewer. The great Romantic painter William Bouguereau stated "One has to seek Beauty and Truth, Sir! As I always say to my pupils, you have to work to the finish. There's only one kind of painting. It is the painting that presents the eye with perfection, the kind of beautiful and impeccable enamel you find in Veronese and Titian." Music, literature and art acquired profound or idealistic meaning. Legends, folklore, mythology and fairytales were rich sources of inspiration. The Romantics dreamed of a world made better through art that would articulate ideal beauty and the nobleness of the true love.

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References - French Art Classic and Contemporary Painting and Sculpture by W. C. Brownell