Survey of Art 1B
Romanticism was a reaction to Neoclassicism. In the broad sense, both Neoclassicism and Romanticism embrace the ideal rather than the reality of everyday life. Both embrace the concepts of nobility, grandeur, virtue, and superiority. (Neoclassicists envisioned an attainable ideal; Romanticists envisioned an unattainable world beyond the limits of society and human adaptability. The Classical hero nobly accepts his fate over which he has no control. The Romantic hero pits himself against a hostile environment and at no time comes to terms with it.)
Romanticism is a term coined to distinguish modern trends from Classical (or Neoclassical) trends. Art in the Romantic spirit increasingly centers on the powerful forces of nature, and the belief that emotion is stronger than reason. Romanticists believed that truth could be sought and found in the feeling and emotion of private experience more so than in political or religious doctrine or rules of reason. They believe that reality is defined within the self and not in the external man made environment. The Romanticists' individualism sometimes resulted in his alienation.
Empirical knowledge is that experience and knowledge gathered by the senses. Individualism and self-expression are encouraged; artistic choices and interpretations are extremely subjective.
An Officer of the Imperial Guard Charging, 1818-1819
Raft of the Medusa, 1818-1819
Woman with Gambling Debts, 1822
The Twenty-eigth of July: Liberty Leading the People, 1830
Death of the Sardanopal, 1827
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