Girodet's old teacher David was puzzled and disappointed by his pupil's direction, saying: "Either Girodet is mad or I no longer know anything of the art of painting". The second was a scene from the Greek War of Independence, completed the year Byron died there, and the last was a scene from one of Byron's plays. With Shakespeare, Byron was to provide the subject matter for many other works of Delacroix, who also spent long periods in North Africa, painting colourful scenes of mounted Arab warriors.
His Liberty Leading the People remains, with the Medusa , one of the best-known works of French Romantic painting. Both reflected current events, and increasingly " history painting ", literally "story painting", a phrase dating back to the Italian Renaissance meaning the painting of subjects with groups of figures, long considered the highest and most difficult form of art, did indeed become the painting of historical scenes, rather than those from religion or mythology.
Francisco Goya was called "the last great painter in whose art thought and observation were balanced and combined to form a faultless unity".
In Spain, there was still a struggle to introduce the values of the Enlightenment , in which Goya saw himself as a participant. The demonic and anti-rational monsters thrown up by his imagination are only superficially similar to those of the Gothic fantasies of northern Europe, and in many ways he remained wedded to the classicism and realism of his training, as well as looking forward to the Realism of the later 19th century.
Sculpture remained largely impervious to Romanticism, probably partly for technical reasons, as the most prestigious material of the day, marble, does not lend itself to expansive gestures. The leading sculptors in Europe, Antonio Canova and Bertel Thorvaldsen , were both based in Rome and firm Neoclassicists, not at all tempted to allow influence from medieval sculpture, which would have been one possible approach to Romantic sculpture.
Francisco Goya , The Third of May , In France, historical painting on idealized medieval and Renaissance themes is known as the style Troubadour , a term with no equivalent for other countries, though the same trends occurred there. Their pictures are often small, and feature intimate private and anecdotal moments, as well as those of high drama.
The lives of great artists such as Raphael were commemorated on equal terms with those of rulers, and fictional characters were also depicted. Fleury-Richard's Valentine of Milan weeping for the death of her husband , shown in the Paris Salon of , marked the arrival of the style, which lasted until the mid-century, before being subsumed into the increasingly academic history painting of artists like Paul Delaroche.
Another trend was for very large apocalyptic history paintings, often combining extreme natural events, or divine wrath, with human disaster, attempting to outdo The Raft of the Medusa , and now often drawing comparisons with effects from Hollywood. The leading English artist in the style was John Martin , whose tiny figures were dwarfed by enormous earthquakes and storms, and worked his way through the biblical disasters, and those to come in the final days.
Other works such as Delacroix's Death of Sardanapalus included larger figures, and these often drew heavily on earlier artists, especially Poussin and Rubens , with extra emotionalism and special effects. Elsewhere in Europe, leading artists adopted Romantic styles: in Russia there were the portraitists Orest Kiprensky and Vasily Tropinin , with Ivan Aivazovsky specializing in marine painting , and in Norway Hans Gude painted scenes of fjords. His long, prolific and extremely successful career saw him begin as a Neoclassical painter, pass right through the Romantic period, and emerge at the other end as a sentimental painter of young women.
His Romantic period included many historical pieces of "Troubadour" tendencies, but on a very large scale, that are heavily influenced by Gian Battista Tiepolo and other late Baroque Italian masters. Literary Romanticism had its counterpart in the American visual arts, most especially in the exaltation of an untamed American landscape found in the paintings of the Hudson River School.
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These works reflected the Gothic feelings of death and decay. They also show the Romantic ideal that Nature is powerful and will eventually overcome the transient creations of men. More often, they worked to distinguish themselves from their European counterparts by depicting uniquely American scenes and landscapes. This idea of an American identity in the art world is reflected in W. Thomas Cole's paintings tend towards allegory , explicit in The Voyage of Life series painted in the early s, showing the stages of life set amidst an awesome and immense nature. William Blake , Albion Rose , Louis Janmot , from his series "The Poem of the Soul", before Musical Romanticism is predominantly a German phenomenon—so much so that one respected French reference work defines it entirely in terms of "The role of music in the aesthetics of German romanticism".
Nevertheless, the huge popularity of German Romantic music led, "whether by imitation or by reaction", to an often nationalistically inspired vogue amongst Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Czech, and Scandinavian musicians, successful "perhaps more because of its extra-musical traits than for the actual value of musical works by its masters". Although the term "Romanticism" when applied to music has come to imply the period roughly from until , or else until around , the contemporary application of "romantic" to music did not coincide with this modern interpretation.
Hoffmann named Mozart , Haydn and Beethoven as "the three masters of instrumental compositions" who "breathe one and the same romantic spirit". He justified his view on the basis of these composers' depth of evocative expression and their marked individuality. In Haydn's music, according to Hoffmann, "a child-like, serene disposition prevails", while Mozart in the late E-flat major Symphony , for example "leads us into the depths of the spiritual world," with elements of fear, love, and sorrow, "a presentiment of the infinite Beethoven's music, on the other hand, conveys a sense of "the monstrous and immeasurable," with the pain of an endless longing that "will burst our breasts in a fully coherent concord of all the passions.
Because music was considered to be free of the constraints of reason, imagery, or any other precise concept, it came to be regarded, first in the writings of Wackenroder and Tieck and later by writers such as Schelling and Wagner , as preeminent among the arts, the one best able to express the secrets of the universe, to evoke the spirit world, infinity, and the absolute. This chronologic agreement of musical and literary Romanticism continued as far as the middle of the 19th century, when Richard Wagner denigrated the music of Meyerbeer and Berlioz as " neoromantic ": "The Opera, to which we shall now return, has swallowed down the Neoromanticism of Berlioz, too, as a plump, fine-flavoured oyster, whose digestion has conferred on it anew a brisk and well-to-do appearance.
It was only toward the end of the 19th century that the newly emergent discipline of Musikwissenschaft musicology —itself a product of the historicizing proclivity of the age—attempted a more scientific periodization of music history, and a distinction between Viennese Classical and Romantic periods was proposed.
From Adler's viewpoint, found in books like Der Stil in der Musik , composers of the New German School and various lateth-century nationalist composers were not Romantics but "moderns" or "realists" by analogy with the fields of painting and literature , and this schema remained prevalent through the first decades of the 20th century. By the second quarter of the 20th century, an awareness that radical changes in musical syntax had occurred during the early s caused another shift in historical viewpoint, and the change of century came to be seen as marking a decisive break with the musical past.
This in turn led historians such as Alfred Einstein  to extend the musical " Romantic Era " throughout the 19th century and into the first decade of the 20th. It has continued to be referred to as such in some of the standard music references such as The Oxford Companion to Music  and Grout's History of Western Music  but was not unchallenged.
For example, the prominent German musicologist Friedrich Blume , the chief editor of the first edition of Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart —86 , accepted the earlier position that Classicism and Romanticism together constitute a single period beginning in the middle of the 18th century, but at the same time held that it continued into the 20th century, including such pre—World War II developments as expressionism and neoclassicism.
Giovanni Boldini , Portrait of Giuseppe Verdi , In the contemporary music culture, the romantic musician followed a public career depending on sensitive middle-class audiences rather than on a courtly patron, as had been the case with earlier musicians and composers.
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Public persona characterized a new generation of virtuosi who made their way as soloists, epitomized in the concert tours of Paganini and Liszt , and the conductor began to emerge as an important figure, on whose skill the interpretation of the increasingly complex music depended. The Romantic movement affected most aspects of intellectual life, and Romanticism and science had a powerful connection, especially in the period — Many scientists were influenced by versions of the Naturphilosophie of Johann Gottlieb Fichte , Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and others, and without abandoning empiricism , sought in their work to uncover what they tended to believe was a unified and organic Nature.
Self-understanding was an important aspect of Romanticism. It had less to do with proving that man was capable of understanding nature through his budding intellect and therefore controlling it, and more to do with the emotional appeal of connecting himself with nature and understanding it through a harmonious co-existence. History writing was very strongly, and many would say harmfully, influenced by Romanticism.
Romantic nationalism had a largely negative effect on the writing of history in the 19th century, as each nation tended to produce its own version of history , and the critical attitude, even cynicism, of earlier historians was often replaced by a tendency to create romantic stories with clearly distinguished heroes and villains. Much historical effort in the 20th century was devoted to combating the romantic historical myths created in the 19th century. To insulate theology from reductionism in science, 19th-century post-Enlightenment German theologians moved in a new direction, led by Friedrich Schleiermacher and Albrecht Ritschl.
They took the Romantic approach of rooting religion in the inner world of the human spirit, so that it is a person's feeling or sensibility about spiritual matters that comprises religion. One of Romanticism's key ideas and most enduring legacies is the assertion of nationalism, which became a central theme of Romantic art and political philosophy.
From the earliest parts of the movement, with their focus on development of national languages and folklore , and the importance of local customs and traditions, to the movements that would redraw the map of Europe and lead to calls for self-determination of nationalities, nationalism was one of the key vehicles of Romanticism, its role, expression and meaning.
One of the most important functions of medieval references in the 19th century was nationalist.
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Popular and epic poetry were its workhorses. This is visible in Germany and Ireland, where underlying Germanic or Celtic linguistic substrates dating from before the Romanization-Latinization were sought out. And, in Catalonia, nationalists reclaimed Catalanism from before the Hispanicization of the Catholic Monarchs in the 15th century, when the Crown of Aragon was unified with the Castilian nobility. Early Romantic nationalism was strongly inspired by Rousseau , and by the ideas of Johann Gottfried von Herder , who in argued that the geography formed the natural economy of a people, and shaped their customs and society.
The nature of nationalism changed dramatically, however, after the French Revolution with the rise of Napoleon , and the reactions in other nations. Napoleonic nationalism and republicanism were, at first, inspirational to movements in other nations: self-determination and a consciousness of national unity were held to be two of the reasons why France was able to defeat other countries in battle. But as the French Republic became Napoleon's Empire , Napoleon became not the inspiration for nationalism, but the object of its struggle. In Prussia , the development of spiritual renewal as a means to engage in the struggle against Napoleon was argued by, among others, Johann Gottlieb Fichte , a disciple of Kant.
The word Volkstum , or nationality, was coined in German as part of this resistance to the now conquering emperor. Fichte expressed the unity of language and nation in his address "To the German Nation" in Those who speak the same language are joined to each other by a multitude of invisible bonds by nature herself, long before any human art begins; they understand each other and have the power of continuing to make themselves understood more and more clearly; they belong together and are by nature one and an inseparable whole.
Only when each people, left to itself, develops and forms itself in accordance with its own peculiar quality, and only when in every people each individual develops himself in accordance with that common quality, as well as in accordance with his own peculiar quality—then, and then only, does the manifestation of divinity appear in its true mirror as it ought to be. This view of nationalism inspired the collection of folklore by such people as the Brothers Grimm , the revival of old epics as national, and the construction of new epics as if they were old, as in the Kalevala , compiled from Finnish tales and folklore, or Ossian , where the claimed ancient roots were invented.
The view that fairy tales, unless contaminated from outside literary sources, were preserved in the same form over thousands of years, was not exclusive to Romantic Nationalists, but fit in well with their views that such tales expressed the primordial nature of a people. For instance, the Brothers Grimm rejected many tales they collected because of their similarity to tales by Charles Perrault , which they thought proved they were not truly German tales;  Sleeping Beauty survived in their collection because the tale of Brynhildr convinced them that the figure of the sleeping princess was authentically German.
He regarded the oral literature of the peasants as an integral part of Serbian culture, compiling it to use in his collections of folk songs, tales, and proverbs, as well as the first dictionary of vernacular Serbian. Romanticism played an essential role in the national awakening of many Central European peoples lacking their own national states, not least in Poland , which had recently lost its independence when Russia's army crushed the Polish Uprising under Nicholas I.
Revival and reinterpretation of ancient myths, customs and traditions by Romantic poets and painters helped to distinguish their indigenous cultures from those of the dominant nations and crystallise the mythography of Romantic nationalism. Patriotism, nationalism, revolution and armed struggle for independence also became popular themes in the arts of this period.
Arguably, the most distinguished Romantic poet of this part of Europe was Adam Mickiewicz , who developed an idea that Poland was the Messiah of Nations , predestined to suffer just as Jesus had suffered to save all the people. The Polish self-image as a " Christ among nations " or the martyr of Europe can be traced back to its history of Christendom and suffering under invasions. During the periods of foreign occupation, the Catholic Church served as bastion of Poland's national identity and language, and the major promoter of Polish culture.
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The partitions came to be seen in Poland as a Polish sacrifice for the security for Western civilization. Adam Mickiewicz wrote the patriotic drama Dziady directed against the Russians where he depicts Poland as the Christ of Nations. He also wrote "Verily I say unto you, it is not for you to learn civilization from foreigners, but it is you who are to teach them civilization You are among the foreigners like the Apostles among the idolaters".
In " Books of the Polish nation and Polish pilgrimage " Mickiewicz detailed his vision of Poland as a Messias and a Christ of Nations, that would save mankind. Dziady is known for various interpretation. The most known ones are the moral aspect of part II, individualist and romantic message of part IV, as well as deeply patriotic,messianistic and Christian vision in part III of poem.
In his book Mickiewicz hermetyczny he writes about hermetic , theosophic and alchemical philosophy on the book as well as Masonic symbols.