Romanticism (1780–1850)


About the time

There was a big push for finding better ways to make energy.  Advances happen in the fields of electricity, steam power (trains), combustion (engines), oil, iron, coal and steel.  These developments lead to the Industrial Revolution which means that lots of people moved to cities to work in factories to produce goods quickly.  These poor people realized how valuable they were because without them the factories wouldn't work and the rich people wouldn't make money, so they start demanding better treatment.  In France, this leads to the French Revolution and the poor people of France fought hard to gain more freedoms and better lives.

The Art

The artists of the time created works that were about imagination and individuality in response to the industrial revolution.  People were flocking to the cities and the artists wanted to express that there was more than the harsh realities of factory work.  They used soft lines and lots of color. 

The subjects that appear in art from this time period reflects the struggle that many workers were facing.  Much of the art reflects the revolutionary push by the workers.



Paintings were still done in oil on canvas and one artist became famous using watercolor paints. 

Caspar Friedrich Wanderer. oil on canvas. German romantic landscape painter, generally considered the most important of the movement. Typically features figures who are thinking, silhouetted night skies, morning mists, barren trees or catholic ruens.






 Gericault (Jeh-ree-co)

"Raft of Medusa"




  Delacroix (Del-a-kwah)

"Liberty Leading the People".  Delacroix was the leader of the French  school.  There is a strong emphasis on color and movement rather than clarity  or outline of the figures.






Turner painted landscapes in watercolor and thick oil paints.  He was the bridge between Romanticism and Impressionism. He was a contraversal figure that is now regaurded as the artist who made landscape paintings more important in art.




Benjamin West

West was an American painter who painted the struggles of the new American nation.  He has famous paintings of battles and important military people that have a Native American (which reminds the viewer that early American history includes a lot of violence and cruelty against the Native American populations in order to gain their land).




Continue to "Realism."  There will be a review test at the end of the next lesson.

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