Baroque and Beyond C. 1600–1850


What is “Romanticism”?

Romanticism was an intellectual, cultural, and artistic movement that went against the rationalism of the Enlightenment and instead emphasized emotion and subjectivity. Romanticism developed in the mid-eighteenth century and remained popular until well into the mid-nineteenth century. It coincided with Neoclassicism, and some neoclassical art is even considered romantic because of its frequent idealism and nostalgia for the past. During the Romantic period, there was a new interest in medieval literature, art, and architecture, inspiring Gothic Revival, which was particularly popular in British domestic architecture. Romanticism transcends the visual arts and includes music and literature as well. Both Beethoven and Chopin are considered part of the Romantic Movement, as are Victor Hugo, William Wordsworth, Herman Melville, and Edgar Allan Poe. Romantic painters include Thomas Gainsborough, William Blake, Francisco Goya, Théodore Géricault, Eugène Delacroix, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, John Constable, Joseph Mallord William Turner, and the artists of the Hudson River School, among others.


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