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ART206 Romantic Age

Romantic 1750-1850

In the social sense, The Romantic period’s most important social concern is the industrial revolution, which will displace the mercantile craft manufacturing system.

1833 - London king orders a statistical study of growing population centers. They are described as " of absolute deprivation", as workers are replaced by coal-fired steam engines.

In Germany, a family called Crooks owns the coalmines, then the iron works that feed the factories. They will get rich from the wars making weapons, then cars after World War II

Babbige invented punch cards to mass-produce rivets for ships then bullets for Franco/Prussian War, 1850

Marie Antoinette- the standard size wine glasses were fashioned from her breast. She will lose her head in the revolution.

Time Line Ideas

1750 - Slavery is legal everywhere
1755 - First History of Art – Johann Winckelmann
1769 - James Watt, Steam engine and first Iron railroads
1770 - Beethoven is born
1773 - Boston tea party
1775 - War with Americas
1776 - Declaration of American Independence. Bill of rights.
1780 - Call for voting reforms, with street riots
1781 - Slave ships crossing Atlantic.
With insurance, for lost slaves, judge rules for the shipping companies.
1830 - Steamship to America.
1844 - Oppression of female needle workers is exposed.
1847 - Political and economic oppression of Irish and other indigenous peoples around civilized world.
1847 - Labor reform? 10 hrs for women and children.
1848 - Marx, the Communist Manifesto
1851 - Photographic process
1875 - Band of Hope- organization for welfare of working class children.
1885 - Age of consent raised to 13 years to counter child slavery.

Romantic Definition

At the turn of the 19th Century, France had flowed with her own blood; Napoleon had soaked the fields of other nations. Countries had known chaos, Europe had seen everything but order, had felt everything except serenity.
The people of Europe had passed through crisis after crisis, were part of a world in which the individual felt lost, menaced, helpless, against forces they could not control or often understand.

Romanticism refers to a movement in the arts that rebelled against academic tradition. Where artists turned to emotional sources of inspiration for subject matter and artistic style.

Romanticism derives from the Medieval chivalric tail—"The Romanut`"

The key belief of Romanticism was the value of individual experience.
People sought to find life in the vastness of learning, mysticism, reflection, indulgence, and rebellion against authority.

Life was to be seized and devoured rather than examined and controlled. And always there is an awareness, that one must full fill ones self through these senses and emotions of every experiences, good and bad, before the body that houses one’s spirit fails.

Introduction to the Romantic Age 1750-1850

Which is umbrelled by age of Humanism, the study of being human. Review how peoples thinking and beliefs have changed from ages of Stone, Bronze, Iron, Industrial Atomic and Informational ages.

The Limitations of, in light of Humanism, the study of what we are.

Which is defined as each individual born inherently good deserving of a knowable universe, with equal share and access. With a modern devotion to the welfare of being human.

Contributions of Renaissance, the Enlightenment and Revolution.
Enlightenment is based on the revival of Pagan, Christian and Greco Roman studies.

  1. In Prehistory, people lost their relationship to the divine by accident, rather than judgment. What is divine?
  2. People are seen as a reflection of a non-vengeful, forgiving compassionate creator. Early Christian.
  3. That there is an inner realm, a guide to a moral life, ones conscience.
  4. Thus a genius or geni to overcome human fallibility. Renaissance

Then contemporarily Chardin who described the evolution of consciousness as ascending from the biosphere to the noosphere. A growing complexity where the need to eliminate destructive thought, otherwise genocide of nature and peoples continues.

A discordant destruction of life as we know it. How to avoid this, through a revolution of ideas and beliefs. From a violent to a passive evolution of ideas and beliefs.

The Romantic concern.

Review for Romantic Era:

Baroque contributions:

  1. Natural vs. Divine or Intellectual light.
  2. Contemporary local settings
  3. Plays to senses, thus greater personal participation with important themes.

Limitations of this content is that it’s still tied to the past, which become clichés, or at worst Baroque opulent display of absolutists power.

The Romantic Aesthetic reflects a play to emotions, through eclectic borrowing from Poussinite Neoclassical or Romantic Rubenite style. Expressed in real time, place or event of emotional significance.

Important Humanistically

  1. Liberates content from traditional themes.
  2. Celebrates nature as sources of knowledge because of immediate direct experience with both inner and outer realms of human experience.
  3. Places attention to contemporary concerns, which will bring art into the social political arena, challenging outdated belief systems.

After the death of Louis XIV in 1715, the social center of the French court moved to the townhouses of Paris. The townhouse salons were funded by wealthy women who surrounded themselves with artists, writers, and philosophers.

French painting during the reign of Louis XV (1715-1774) was ruled by the academy in Paris, founded in 1648, it was the center of Romantic art in France.

Two mistresses of Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry had strong influence in artistic taste. Images were conceived to delight the eye. Watteau, Fragonard, Boucher. Will paint the last of the Baroque / Rococco.

Starting in 1673, yearly salons were held, it was mostly artists that the king or his Chief Painter (Premier Peintre) choose.

History painting was supreme.
Next in importance was portraiture, followed by genre` scenes then landscapes and still life.

After the 1st Revolution 1789, a conscious effort was made to avoid artificiality and render, more accurately, according to Poussinite ideals.

Culminating in the "neo-classical" works of Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825)

It was during the reign of Louis XVI (1774-92) after the 1st Revolution when the courtly style disappeared, reviewed as a reflection of the privileged class.

The Neoclassic and Romantic Movement covered almost a century, from about 1750-1850.

Neoclassicism began with Baroque Poussin. It will last into the 1800’s. It expresses a reaction against decadence. It is a revival of classic antiquity, which was linked to the enlightenment. Romanticism, refers not to specific style, but to an attitude of mind that may reveal itself in any number of ways, including Classicism. They all shared the same ideas but they were separated by clear differences in style and approach.

During the American Revolution 1776 and the French Revolution 1789, artists proclaimed that all human affairs ought to be ruled by emotion with reason and common good, rather than be ruled by tradition and established authority.

The enlightenment that came with neoclassicism helped to create a new wave of emotionalism. Romantic movement was a return to nature, its acclaimed liberty.
Neoclassicism on the other hand, was simply the first phase of Romanticism.

Romantic Art standards are set by the French Art Academy derived from name of the grove where Plato discoursed.

First, there were informal meetings and sharing of workspace and models. Then, Napoleon appoints an art minister as director of "Royal Academy of Art".

Establishing centralized control with a ridged curriculum, entrance qualification and standards of judgment for competitions. Gives merits according to aesthetic style and content.

Raphael - classical mythology

Poussin - biblical

Titian - landscape

Flemish - genre`

After the influence of 1st minister of arts declines, academy divides over question of line vs. color, Poussinites vs. Rubenites.

Poussinites believe that line is most important as it provides stability and order, appeals to intellect which is superior to color that appeals to baser senses.

The Rubenites believe that color, movement, and emotion, as more true to nature. Appeals to more people, less dependent on education this puts each person as ultimate judge of artistic value.
In 1715 with Louis XIV death, Rubenites win victory when Watteau is admitted to academy on basis of, Pilgrimage to Cytheria.

Modern History Begins with the Renaissance.

Modern concerns of being human, is established by the Romantic artist.

Who will, with ideas of the enlightenment challenge outdated beliefs and attitudes of privileged access to knowledge and resources.

This will initiate the Age of Revolution, from a violent to a passive revolution of ideas.

Romantic Art establishes a different expectation of art, addressing concepts of freedom to pursue one's own path, intent, or truth.

Two alternatives for the Romantic artist;

  1. Follow traditional dictates and norms established by the national academies, or
  2. Work outside of traditional expectations, accepting a precarious economic or political fate.

The Romantic Age initiates the modern humanist concern of change, in the sense of social and political values and ethics. Still happening today.

Age of Enlightenment 1715-1774

Romantic Philosophy is a reaction to the excesses and artificiality of traditional Political Absolutism which is based on a vertical hierarchy of power, and privilege. Absolutism will evolve into capitalism as political power shifts to the corporate world.

Romantic free thinkers and writers are not aligned with the church or state.

Their philosophy was that, to understand human potential one must interact with nature, so that one's destiny can be determined individually with nature as the model.

Religiously, Liebniz (1717), suggests that, individual destiny is encoded in each person, with emphasis on free will. First published in the Baroque.

In science a monk, Mendel in the field of genetics, shows that what we are, is physically encoded within us. Much of why we look, act and feel is inherited genetically.
This will lead to Darwin discoveries.

The Rena confirmed the Pagan idea of the physical body as an evolvement of nature to house the divine.

In the political sense, John Locke (1632-1704) is seen as one of the founders of modern political thought. He favored natural rights, the entitlements of life, liberty, and property and the pursuit of happiness under a government set up with and by consent of the people.

And Thomas Hobbes said, "laws are necessary to guarantee freedom". So that, "Natural man with source of intelligence, directs one’s owns faith".

Thus the importance of Romantic process to seek self-understanding from personal experience, from both outer and inner realms.

Immanuel Kant 1724-1804 helps inspire the revolution with the idea that science does give dependable knowledge of the natural world through rational empirical observation, but there is a moral law, which comes from an "inner voice". Which will lead to a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood with all people, if the unconditional concept of freedom in the economical and religious sense is established.
The underprivileged will hear this because of greater social awareness, with growing literacy and publications.

This inspires the Art of the Revolution

How is the inner voice heard? With economic and religious freedom, or equal share and access. There is laboratory and cultural evidence that shows when social stress is eliminated order is sought, naturally.

Ethnic wars are because of unequal share of land and resources.
It is suggested that when communities have equal share and access to resources, thus no physical/survival stress, people will naturally embrace concepts of peaceful co-existence.

When a healthy interplay between outer and inner self, physical and metaphysical concerns occurs, then people and nature help each other in following the macro destiny. From the individual to the whole.

The Romantic artist will for the first time consciously engage the inner psychological realms of being human, Establishing for the first time acknowledgement of a source of inner truth, congruent to both self and nature.

The Romantic artist will, initiate the revolution of ideas. Faith in the idea of "born inherently good" we will seek order, with freedom of choice.

Education is the prerequisite to congruent choice, or the democratic processes.

The Age of Revolution 1775 to the present.

The humanist ideas of enlightenment spreads quickly, bringing the revolution, which is first violent then passive.

Because socially, there is more travel, printing presses, coffee houses and a new class of thinkers bringing a new public dialogue for equal privileges and rights.

Yet there is strong resistance to reforms by absolutist’s Machiavellian politics of survival of state, and dominate Nationalism at the expense of the worker and warrior.

E. Rousseau 1712-1788

Politically, he supports revolution for a republic. Ills of society are because of belief a system that " stifles the noble savage".
"Total and unlimited rights for all".
Argued that people are born free and equal, and revolution is necessary when government violates this tenet. "The poor in contrast to wealthy have natural virtue".

He is expelled from France, settles in England.
Is a colleague of the revolutionary artists, in both countries.

Voltaire François 1694-1778

A Writer and Philosopher. Also aligned with the artists. " My trade is to say what I think, All people are good, accept those who are idle"

Our priests are not what simple folk suppose, referring to the moral corruptness of the church. " Let us trust ourselves, see all with our own eyes, and let these be our oracles, our tripods, our gods"

Sent out "small" pamphlets of his philosophy, as "big books are out of fashion".

Hume, David 1711-76

"Imagination is what creates and sustains us". Sees world beyond appearances as unapproachable by reason alone.
There is a natural movement of experience that falls onto order. From the abstract, to the known.

Social reform comes, but is given reluctantly by a growing conservative upper class, with growing numbers of poverty. There is early optimism that industrial achievements, and capitalism would create more work for the poor. But socially there is little protection for the work force, and intense pollution in air and water begins with the Industrial Revolution.

Thus the American Independence of 1776, the French Revolutions Spanish 1850, Gandhi, Martin Luther, Lennon, China Tiananmen Square, Berlin Wall.

Romantic themes will reflect a concern with the Physical - the landscape, and genre, to embrace and document the Romantic adventure. The sublime essences.

Metaphysical - conscious effort to embrace inner psych. realms. Acknowledges the subconscious influence on our awake reality.

The Revolution - use of art to support social reform, from violent confrontation, to passive revolution of ideas.

Romantic Art at its best Humanistically because it…
Liberates art from past dictates and traditional perspectives.

Places attention to the present, and initiates reform through revolution of structure and ideas. With fresh new inspiration from both outer and inner realms.

Physical issues of politics, social reform and celebration of nature in relationship with people.

Metaphysical expressions of the sublime or inner Psych. Realms

Transcendental dualism of people/nature, light/dark, inner/outer realms.

Dictates Romanticism challenges absolutism, unequal privileges, the higher authority, dominion over patriarchal attitude.

Humanism provokes concepts of born good, deserving of, with horizontal access and devotion to the welfare of being human.

The Art of The Enlightenment and Revolution will be addressed by a Romantic artist, who will reflect these humanist concerns:

In The Metaphysical Sense, the art reveals though personal experience a more meaningful understanding of the relationship between people and nature; outer physical and inner psychological realms of the human condition. Based on an idea that with knowledge of self and nature, the potentials of being human are realized. Then freedom is gained, leading philosophically to a determination of one’s own destiny.

In The Political Sense, the artist will more consciously challenge tradition and authority, by promoting the revolution. First in the violent tearing down of the old structures, then by using the art to reveal and expose social and political corruption to provoke reform or change. A passive revolution of ideas and beliefs.

In the Religious Sense, the artist will embrace the "sublime experience in nature", both outer and inner realms.

Romanticism infers not so much to a "style", but an attitude of change.

Socially, the Romantic Age creates a new breed of artists. The Intellectual Bohemian, a rebellious creative energy, aligned with humanist causes to consciously affect change. An emotional rather than intellectual posture. Philosophically their declared aim, discussed and written about, was to bring down differences that separate people from nature and one’s natural rights.

To experience and discover the ideal, or sublime in nature and self. If people behaved naturally, evil would disappear and happiness would prevail.

Since the Romantic is in revolt to the present order, a new style is always sought. In general, it becomes a rival of the past style with eclectic borrowing.

The Romantic Art 1750-1850

Establishes a different patronage and expectations of art, addressing the concept of freedom to pursue one’s own truth/destiny.

Definition of the Romantic Aesthetic:

A play to emotions, from direct immediate experience with real events of emotional significance. In a style that is Poussinite or Rubenite.

  • Formal Neoclassical or Poussinite style is to exalt Greek ideas of Humanism, which overcame corruptness, to create order from the nature of chaos, reflecting an ordered society or nature of things.
  • Expressive or Rubenite style exalts nature as model of change as in learning, to overcome limits of past tradition so people can evolve and behave naturally.
  • Romantic Realism reflects an interface with real emotional events for personal empathetic interaction and participation. To extend knowledge of new frontiers of experiences.
  • Abstraction is to conceptualize concerns of being human. Socially or religiously in terms of the revolution or the divine/sublime, experience in nature.
  • Content of Romantic art reflects a need to engage the significant for personal or social change in the physical/survival or metaphysical/identity sense.

Romantic Painting

A reaction against excesses and artificiality of Baroque.

More important than architecture and sculpture because it is quicker, more direct and cheaper.

Is less dependent on state or old wealth, the painter is no longer tied to traditional patronage.

Artists Works for self, satisfying personal concerns of society or self-actualization.

Becomes closely aligned with Romantic literature, leaving traditional imagery behind.

Emphasis is on personal experiences without reference to past, an expression of local real time and place of emotional significance.

The French Art Academy leadership first reflects aesthetics of Poussinites – line as superior to color then shifts to Rubenites where color is seen as more true to nature.

Poussin - 1630-1715

Wattean & Fragonard - 1715-1789

David & Ingres - 1789-1830

Delacroix - 1830-1850

More on Romanticism:

An Artistic and intellectual movement that originated in the late 18th century. It stressed strong emotion, imagination, freedom from classical correctness in art forms, and rebellion against social conventions.

Romanticism illustrated the ideas born from the French Revolution:

  1. Liberty vs. Absolutism
  2. Individualism and reaction against industrialization and conquest of nature. Landscapes were made in search for the divine and the world of the subjective.
  3. Fantasy and above all, drama with an obsessive taste for

Light /dark, the known and unknown, Order and chaos.

Traditionally, Romanticism was seen as a rejection of the precepts of order, balance, idealization, and rationality that typified Renaissance Classicism. Yet, it is more a reaction against the 18th century remnants of Baroque materialism in general. Romanticism emphasized the individual, the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, the personal, the spontaneous, the emotional, the visionary, and the transcendental.

The Romantic has deepened appreciation of the beauties of nature, emotion over reason and of the senses over intellect. A turning in upon the self and a heightened examination of human personality and its moods and mental potentialities.

A focus on one’s passions and inner struggles; a new view of the artist as a supremely individual creator, whose creative spirit is more important than strict adherence to formal rules and traditional procedures. Imagination is as a gateway to transcendental experience and spiritual truth. Romanticism, a profound shift in Western attitude. Its chief emphasis was upon freedom of individual self-expression. Originality rejects the ordered rationality of the mechanical, impersonal and artificial. The Romantic turned to the emotional directness of personal experience and to the boundlessness of individual imagination and aspiration.

Increasingly independent of aristocratic patronage, they saw themselves as free spirits expressing their own imaginative truths. Which replace the ‘mechanical’ rules of conventional form with an ‘organic’ principle of natural growth and free development.

Romanticism, more than anything else, is the cult of the individual. In the cultural and psychological sense is the nativity of the I. The Self that belongs to the Larger Truth.

The most direct descendant of Romanticism was the symbolists, which intensified or refined romantic subjectivity, imagination, and dreamlike imagery.

In a sense, virtually all-modern art derives from Romanticism, because modern assumptions about the primacy of artistic freedom, originality, and artistic self-expression were originally conceived by the Romantics.

Inspiration for the romantic approach initially came from a French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau, and German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Rousseau established the cult of the individual and championed the freedom of the human spirit.

Romanticism is an attitude of mind rather than a set of particular stylistic traits. Romanticism represents a revolt against conservationism, moderation, insincerity, and an insistence on the imagination and intuition in artistic expression in balance with reason.

Romanticism is soul searching and truth seeking by way of feeling and vision.

Romanticism’s orientation is subjective; and the intensity of religious and mystical experiences associated with traditional religion could live on in a natural human potential, the sublime.

From either outer nature or inner realms.

The four basic elements that define Romanticism:

  1. The acknowledgment imagination and intuition as equal to reason.
  2. The belief that there are significant moments of experience, which cannot be comprehended by reason.
  3. The extreme importance of the individual, the subjective, and one’s personal truth.
  4. Rejects every rule that might inhibit the full expression of self, in a non-violent way. Revolt of ideas and beliefs.