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Romanticism

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  1. Romanticism Visual Arts, Music, Literature

  2. Romanticism • Began in late 1700s • Dominated European cultural life through first half of 1800s • Difficult to define: • Romantics were both liberals and conservatives; revolutionaries and reactionaries • Some were religious, others not

  3. The Romantic Ideal“I feel, therefore I am” • For the Romantics the philosophes of the Enlightenment diminished the individual by turning human beings into soulless thinking machines in which all knowledge and truth was reduced to scientific rationalism • Romantics believed in the uniqueness of individuals & importance of diversity • Imagination should determine the form and content of artistic creation • Reason cannot comprehend nor express the complexities of human nature • Introspection and fulfillment of the inner self were the goals of the Romantics • Truth is found in spontaneous human emotion rather than the intellect • Poetry – not mathematics and logic – yielded the highest truth • Rejected uniform standards inherited from classical traditions Elevated folk art • Looked back to Medieval times for inspiration • Emphasized intuition, imagination, feeling, erotic love and the eternal feminine

  4. Romantics and Nature • Enlightenment philosophes saw nature as a lifeless machine, a giant clock, all parts working in perfect precision • Romantics rejected this impersonal machine model of nature, responding to nature emotionally, seeking mystical union with nature • Nature is alive an suffused with God’s presence • The factories of the Industrial Revolution were “dark satanic mills” that separated people from the glories of the natural world

  5. Visual Arts

  6. Classical and Romantic • The history of art, music, and literature can be broadly dived into two general groupings – classical and romantic. • A classical understanding sees the world primarily as underlying form itself. A romantic understanding sees it primarily in terms of immediate appearance. • The classical proceeds by reason and by laws. Often perceived as masculine. • The romantic mode is primarily inspirational, imaginative, creative, intuitive. Feelings rather than facts predominate. Often perceived as feminine.

  7. Neoclassical18th c. art of the EnlightenmentJacques-Louis DavidDeath of Socrates, Oath of the Horatii

  8. Neoclassical Jean Auguste Dominique IngresNapoleon on his Imperial Throne

  9. Antoine-Jean GrosNapleon Bonaparte on Arcole Bridge(1797)

  10. Romanticism in the Visual Arts • Elevated imagination above realism. • Subjective and interpretive in nature • It sought to convey the thoughts and emotions behind a work. • Emphasized transient and dramatic effects of light, atmosphere, and color to portray a dynamic natural world capable of evoking awe and grandeur • Landscapes were often portrayed with dark foreboding skies or seas as their backdrop to convey the sense of worry or gloom. Distorted faces might show the determination of the subject or give a glimpse into a troubled personality. • Unrestrained, deep, rich shades • Use of legends, exotica, nature, violence, and/or the erotic for subjects • Narratives of heroic struggle, landscapes, wild animals • Romantic nationalism • Artists used the Romantic movement to express the times of rapid change and uncertainties of their era

  11. “The world is too much with us” by William Wordsworth The World is too much with us; late and soon,    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:    Little we see in Nature that is ours;  We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!  …we are out of tune 

  12. John Constable Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows (1831)

  13. Caspar David FriedrichWanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818)

  14. Caspar David FriedrichWinter Landscape (1811)

  15. Eugène DelacroixLiberty Leading the People (1830)

  16. Eugène DelacroixDeath of Sardanaplus (1827-8)

  17. Francisco GoyaThe Third of May 1808 (1814)

  18. Romantics and God • God is the spiritual force behind all life; mysterious and inspiring • Romantics condemned Deists for weakening Christianity • Methodism – John Wesley’s revolt against deism and the rationality of the English church; connection with God is individual and heartfelt, an enthusiastic, emotional experience (revivals) • Hasidic Judaism – Founded by the Ba’al Shem tov in E. Europe Hasidics rejected the academic Judaism in favor of a more spiritual Judaism in which God is seen in every aspect of the world and humans can make direct, personal connections with God; miracles

  19. Romantics and History • Enlightenment philosophes saw the Middle Ages as a time of darkness, superstition, and fanaticism • Romantics revered Middle Ages as a time of security, spiritual unity, and social harmony • Middle ages a time of chivalrous deed, heroic individuals, colorful pageantry • Romantics looked to Medieval language, folk songs, legends, myths, and traditions as a way to identify with unique national histories • Hegel: thesis, antithesis, synthesis • All periods of history have equal value • All cultures are valuable and contribute to human development

  20. In general, the term "Romanticism" when applied to music has come to mean the period roughly from the 1820s until around 1900 Romantic composers did not reject Classic music (second half of 18th c; i.e. Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, who was both classical and romantic) - rules of classic music were seen more as boundaries to be explored, tested, and sometimes crossed Emphasized freedom in form and design Intensely personal expression of emotion in which fantasy, imagination and a quest for adventure plays an important part Closer links with other arts Romantic composers often expressed nationalism by incorporating elements unique to their native cultures, such as folk song, dances, and legendary histories Romantic Music

  21. Impact of Political and Socioeconomic Conditions on 19th c. Music • The Industrial Revolution had a very practical effect on music: there were major improvements in the mechanical valves and keys that most woodwinds and brass instruments depend on. The new, improved instruments could be played more easily and reliably, and often had a bigger, fuller, better-tuned sound. • The rise of the middle class meant Romantic composers, unlike their Classical counterparts who lived on the patronage of the aristocracy and played before a small, upper-class audience, were often writing for public concerts and festivals, with large audiences of paying customer. The 19th c. saw the first "pop star"-type stage personalities, such as Paganini and Liszt. • Romantic composers often expressed nationalism by incorporating elements unique to their native cultures, such as folk song, dances, and legendary histories. • During the classical period music reflected Enlightenment ideals and was seen as universal in its beauty and appeal. Romantic music was often deeply personal and nationalistic.

  22. Ludwig van Beethoven(1770-1827) • German composer and pianist • Supported the ideals of the French Revolution (initially dedicated his 3rd symphony in honor of Napoleon, but renamed it after he felt Napoleon betrayed the ideal of the Revolution)

  23. Little Ludwig when he was 13

  24. FrédéricChopin (1810-1849) • Polish Romantic composer and pianist • Exiled from Poland after 1830 uprising against Russia failed • First western composerto use Slavic elements in his music; Polonaise - Polish national music • Turbulent affair with Baroness Dudevant (better known as George Sand), French Romantic author • Both paintings done by Romantic artist Eugène Delacroix

  25. Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) • French Romantic composer • Used huge orchestras (sometimes over 1,000 performers) • Was in Paris during 1830 Revolution - "I dashed off the final pages of my orchestral score to the sound of stray bullets coming over the roofs and pattering on the wall outside my window. On the 29th I had finished, and was free to go out and roam about Paris 'till morning, pistol in hand" • Composed a symphony in honor of Revolution • Wrote The Damnation of Faust from the drama by Goeth; Romeo and Juliet from Shakespeare, and Les Troyens from Virgil’s Aneid

  26. Richard Wagner (1813-1883) • German Romantic composer • Wrote German nationalist operas based upon Norse mythology and legends • During the May, 1849 revolt in Dresden, Germany he wrote passionate articles inciting people to revolt, and took an active part in the fighting, making hand grenades and standing as a look out • Spent 12 years in exile • Anti-semitic; in 1850 he wrote an attack against Mendelssohn and other Jewish composers

  27. Other Romantic Composers • Felix Mendelssohn • Robert Schumann • Franz Schubert • Johannes Brahms • Gioachino Antonio Rossini (William Tell opera used the central national myth unifying Switzerland) • Daniel Auber(A performance of his opera, The Mute Girl of Portici, sparked a riot in Brussels that sparked the 1830 revolution that led to Belgian independence - the first successful revolution in the model of Romantic nationalism)