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Romanticism (1800 – 1850). Goodbye, Age of Reason; Hello, Age of Emotion!. Romanticism – What it is…. Characteristics of Romanticism : Emotion , instead of reason Rejected Enlightenment focus on reason Glorification of nature – good & bad Favored personal freedom

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Romanticism (1800 – 1850)

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Romanticism(1800 – 1850)

Goodbye, Age of Reason;

Hello, Age of Emotion!


Romanticism – What it is…

Characteristics of Romanticism:

  • Emotion, instead of reason

  • Rejected Enlightenment focus on reason

  • Glorification of nature – good & bad

  • Favored personal freedom

  • Often looked to ideals of Middle Ages (faith, honor, chivalry; also architecture)

  • Expanded across Europe; also U.S.


Romanticism – Where it came from…

  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau – “the first Romantic”

  • “Noble savage” ideal

  • Inspired by French Revolution (early parts)

  • Reaction to Industrial Revolution – the “dark Satanic mills” (Wm. Blake)


Romanticism – What it created…

  • Romantic themes expressed in:

    • Literature

    • Poetry

    • Art

    • Music

    • Architecture

  • Often closely tied with nationalist causes

  • Often led to political reform movements and revolutions


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  • German

  • Sturm und Drang – “Storm and Stress” – intense emotion

  • Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) – very influential

  • Faust (1806)


William Wordsworth & Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • English poets

  • Influenced by Rousseau

  • Lyrical Ballads (1798) – launched Romantic movement in England

  • Poems were simple themes of nature (Wordsworth) or moody, otherworldly pieces (Coleridge)

  • Included “Tintern Abbey” (WW) and “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (STC)


Wordsworth – “Daffodils” (1804)

I wandered lonely as a cloudThat floats on high o'er vales and hills,When all at once I saw a crowd,A host, of golden daffodils;Beside the lake, beneath the trees,Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.Continuous as the stars that shineAnd twinkle on the milky way,They stretched in never-ending lineAlong the margin of a bay:Ten thousand saw I at a glance,Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.The waves beside them danced; but theyOut-did the sparkling waves in glee:A poet could not but be gay,In such a jocund company:I gazed--and gazed--but little thoughtWhat wealth the show to me had brought:For oft, when on my couch I lieIn vacant or in pensive mood,They flash upon that inward eyeWhich is the bliss of solitude;And then my heart with pleasure fills,And dances with the daffodils.


Sir Walter Scott

  • Scottish

  • Long narrative poems and historical novels

  • Deeply influenced by Goethe

  • Lady of the Lake (1810) (poem)

  • Rob Roy (1817)

  • Ivanhoe(1819)


(George Gordon) Lord Byron

  • English poet

  • Scandalous, known for excesses, mood swings – “mad, bad, and dangerous to know”

  • Don Juan (1819-1824, unf.)

  • Died from fever while fighting for Greek independence

Byron in Albanian attire (1813) 


Byron – “She Walks in Beauty” (1814)

IShe walks in beauty—like the night  Of cloudless climes and starry skies,And all that's best of dark and bright  Meet in her aspect and her eyes;Thus mellowed to the tender light  Which heaven to gaudy day denies.     IIOne shade the more, one ray the less,  Had half impaired the nameless graceWhich waves in every raven tress  Or softly lightens o'er her face—Where thoughts serenely sweet express  How pure, how dear their dwelling place.     IIIAnd on that cheek and o'er that brow  So soft, so calm yet eloquent,The smiles that win, the tints that glow  But tell of days in goodness spentA mind at peace with all below,  A heart whose love is innocent.


Percy Bysshe Shelley

  • English poet & playwright

  • Married to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, close friend of Byron

  • Greater influence after death than in life

  • Prometheus Unbound (1820)

  • Drowned in Italy at 29


Shelley – “Ozymandias” (1818)

I met a traveller from an antique landWho said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stoneStand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frownAnd wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold commandTell that its sculptor well those passions readWhich yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.And on the pedestal these words appear:"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"Nothing beside remains. Round the decayOf that colossal wreck, boundless and bareThe lone and level sands stretch far away


Victor Hugo

  • French

  • Poet, author

  • Often wrote of social injustice in France

  • Politically active - republicanism

  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831)

  • Les Misérables (1862)


Aurore Dupin - “George Sand”

  • French author

  • One of the most successful woman authors of 19th century

  • Unorthodox, scandalous personal life

  • Stories of deep passion and emotional searching

  • Lélia (1831)


Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

  • German

  • Collected, preserved German folk tales

  • Children’s and Household Tales (1812)

  • Examples: Rapunzel, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White among dozens of others


Aleksander Pushkin

  • Russian

  • Greatest Russian poet

  • Style defined Russian literature for decades

  • Political radical

  • Boris Godunov (1831) - play

  • The Captain’s Daughter (1836)


Caspar David Friedrich

Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (1818) – Kunsthalle, Hamburg


The Abbey in the Oakwood (1810)


The Sea of Ice (1824)


J.M.W. Turner

The Fighting Téméraire Tugged to Her Last Berth to be Broken Up (1838) – National Gallery, London


Rain, Steam, and Speed – The Great Western Railroad (1844)


John Constable

Dedham Vale (1802) – Victoria and Albert Museum, London


The Hay Wain (1821) – National Gallery, London


Weymouth Bay(1816)


Théodore Géricault

Raft of the Medusa (1819) – The Louvre, Paris


Portraits of the Insane


Eugène Delacroix

Massacre at Chios (1824) - The Louvre, Paris


Liberty Leading the People (1830) – The Louvre, Paris


Ludwig van Beethoven

  • 1770-1826

  • German composer

  • Independent of patronage – more freedom to compose

  • “Ode to Joy”

  • “Für Elise”

  • 5th Symphony


Ludwig van Beethoven

  • “Ode to Joy” (part of 9th Symphony)

  • 5th Symphony

  • “Für Elise”


Franz Liszt

  • 1811-1886

  • Hungarian composer

  • Many works used Hungarian folk tunes

  • Piano virtuoso – touring inspired “Lisztomania” across Europe

  • “Hungarian Rhapsody”


Frédéric Chopin

  • 1810-1849

  • Franco-Polish composer

  • Incorporated Polish folk melodies into compositions

  • Emigrated to France after failed 1830 Polish revolution

  • “Minute Waltz”

  • Died of tuberculosis in Paris


Giuseppe Verdi

  • 1813-1901

  • Italian opera composer

  • Music associated with strong Italian nationalist views

  • “La Traviata”

  • “Aida”

  • “Rigoletto”


Richard Wagner

  • 1813-1883

  • German opera composer

  • German nationalism found in operas -German legends & myths

  • “The Ring of the Nibelung” - 4 cycle opera

  • “Ride of the Valkyries”

  • Music later used by Nazis


Peter (Pyotr) Tchaikovsky

  • 1840-1893

  • Russian composer

  • Wrote symphonies, operas, ballets

  • Blended Western European style music with Russian themes

  • First Russian composer to find success in West


Tchaikovsky’s Most Famous


Neo-Gothic Architecture

Inspired by Gothic designs from Middle Ages

Contrast to the Neo-Classical movement of the Renaissance

Reaction to Industrialism

Began in England in late 18th c., spread through Europe & U.S.

AKA “Gothic Revival” or “Victorian Gothic”


Palace of Westminster, London

  • Location of Houses of Parliament and the famous “Big Ben” Clock Tower


Cologne Cathedral, Germany

Begun in 13th c., finished in 1880 – tallest building in world at time of completion


Gothic Revival

Basilica of St. Clotilde, Paris

Sir Walter Scott Monument, Edinburgh


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