Many of you may wonder what Romanticism is and how it influences our modern society today. Romanticism is one of the few art eras in history that has brought literary criticism, especially around during the 1800s.
But the question is, what is Romanticism?
Romanticism, also called the Romantic Movement, is an aesthetic in literary criticism during the 1800s. It is an artistic movement that has brought an attitude orientation characterized by many literature works, paintings, music, architecture, and historiography up until the mid-19th century. This artistic movement is most popular in France and Britain in the early years of the 19th century.
Moreover, Romanticism was the rationality that classified both Classicism and Neoclassicism. It is about the rejection of the perception of order, harmony, balance, and idealization.
Romanticism defined in various ways
One good description of Romanticism is that it is a deepened appreciation of nature’s beauty and a general rise of emotion over reason, more like senses over intellect. To some, they also define it as a turning in upon the self and a higher examination of human personality, moods, and mental potentialities.
Another definition states that Romanticism emphasizes on as an imagination of a gateway to higher experience and spiritual truth that comes from an obsessive interest in folk, national, and ethnic cultural origins and the medieval era.
Romanticism comes from a lot of related developments in the mid-18th century and is called the “Pre-Romanticism” era. This is the era that started the appreciation of medieval romance, from which the term Romantic Movement was derived. Most works in this era are about romantic tales or ballads that emphasize heroic individuals on an exotic and mysterious set-up of both formality and artificiality of Classical forms of literature.
A good example would be the French Neoclassical tragedy or the English heroic couplet in poetry. This has left a mark of an unsophisticated but more of an emotional literary expression of history and led to become a dominant note in Romanticism.
· Early Romanticism
A group of artists gathered and formed this movement in Jacques Louis David’s studio. These are Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres were the ones who took part in this movement.
Ingres’ Apotheosis of Homer and Eugene Delacroix’s Death of Sardanapalus are some of the best-expressed works where Romanticism is represented and emphasized. These works are polarized in the public at the Salon of 1827 in Paris. Both works were made and inspired by the Davidian tradition, but each was unique and overthrows the model, emphasizing the originality of the artists, which became a center of the notion of Romanticism.
On the other hand, in English literature, Romanticism began in the 1790s together with the publication of the Lyrical Ballads of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The second edition of Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth was “Preface,” which became the proclamation of the English Romantic Movement in poetry because he described poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful things.” William Blake, a poet, then led the Romantic Movement to its early phase.
· First Phase
The first phase of Romanticism took place in Germany. It was established by both content and literary style and with concentrated on the mystical, the subconscious, and the supernatural. Artists like Friedrich Hölderlin, the early Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jean-Paul, Friedrich Schlegel, Wilhelm Heinrich, and Friedrich Schelling are some of the people who took part of the first phase of the Romantic Movement. During the French Revolution, Vicomte de Chateaubriand and Mme de Staël became the first chief initiators of Romanticism through their influential works and writings.
· Second Phase
This phase of Romanticism happened from 1805 to 1830 and was known to be the compromising period of the Romantic Movement. A warm culture of nationalism was made as an influence and drew attention to new national origins, as shown in the collection and imitation of native folklore, folk ballads and poetry, folk dance and music, and even old Renaissance work. In this phase, Sir Walter Scott got known for reviving a historical appreciation by translating it into imaginative writing.
Scott also was the one who invented historical novels. Also, in this same period was where English Romantic poetry has reached its peak through the works of John Keats, Lord Byron, and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Achim von Arnim, Clemens Brentano, J. J. von Görres, and Joseph Von Eichendorff led this phase of Romanticism in Germany.
In the 1820s, Romanticism has spread throughout Europe. This has made the movement less universal in approach and was focused more on discovering each nation’s historical and cultural inheritance and studying on the passions and struggles of exceptional individuals.
The following names are only some of the most influential writers of this phase of Romantic Movement. They also became the most important writers during the pre-Civil War America:
– Thomas de Quincey
– William Hazlitt
– The Bronte sisters in England
– Victor Hugo
– Alfred de Vigny
– Alphonse de Lamartine
– Alfred de Musset
– Stendhal in France
– Alessandro Manzoni
– Giacomo Leopardi
– Aleksander Pushkin
– Mikhail Lermontov
– José de Espronceda
– Angel de Saavedra
Aside from writing and poetry, Romanticism was also expressed through architecture and music. The Medieval Gothic architecture became an influence on the Romantic imagination in England and Germany and led to the Gothic Revival.
Meanwhile, musical Romanticism focuses and emphasizes on the originality and individuality of emotional expression and freedom of form. Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert based the music on the Classical and Romantic periods. Their pieces gave out such intensity and personal feeling, and their elements were further used as a model to 19th-century Romantic composers.
This article covers only the basic information about Romanticism. If you’re thinking, “Can I get someone to write my paper for me?” about the Romantic Movement in your research paper, you can explore other interesting subtopics about it.