Art in the Romantic Era. David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps, 1800

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  • Art in the Romantic Era

  • David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps, 1800

  • Aspects of Romanticism in music & art The Engaged & Enraged Artist Nature Supernatural, demonic; dreams & madness exoticism ancient (Medieval not Greek) - rejection of Classicism & Renaissance


  • Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People, 1830text p. 334

  • Goya, Executions of the Third of May, 1808 1814-15text p. 336

  • Goya, Disasters of WarBrave Deeds Against the DeadEtchingPolitical communication

  • Nature peaceful, restorative, an escape; The Picturesque awesome, powerful, horrifying,overwhelming, indifferent to to the fate of humans; The Sublime the language of God (edited)

  • John Constable, The Hay Wain, 1821text p. 338

  • Caspar David Friedrich,The Wanderer Above the Mists,c. 1817-18text p. 337

  • FRIEDRICH, Caspar DavidThe Sea of Ice, c. 1823-25, Oil on canvas, 96.7 x 126.9 cm

  • J.M.W. Turner, The Slave Ship, 1842text p. 340

  • detail,The Slave Ship

  • Turner, Joseph Mallord William, Rain, Steam and Speed1844, Oil on canvas, 35 3/4 x 48 in.

    text p. 340

  • detail

  • ConstableTurner

  • The Raft of the Medusa by Gericault 1819

  • Church, Frederic EdwinRainy Season in the Tropics1866, Oil on canvas, 56 1/4 x 84 3/16 in. The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

  • Church, Frederic Edwin, The Icebergs1861, Oil on canvas, 64 1/4 x 112 1/4 in

  • Bierstadt, AlbertAmong the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California1868, Oil on canvas, 183 x 305 cm text p. 341

  • The Supernatural ghosts, fairies, witches, demons, etc. the shadows of the mind dreams & madness reaction to Rationalism? (1st witch scare during the Renaissance) the escape from Reason

  • DelacroixMphistophls dans les airs, 1828

    No. 2 from the set of 18 lithographs of Goethe's Faust

  • Goya,The Sleep of Reason Brings Forth Monsters1796-8etchingtext p. 345

  • GoyaKronos devouring his children

  • Goya, Witches Sabbath, c. 1819-23text p. 345

  • Theodore GericaultMad Woman with a Mania of Envy1822-23Study of the insane

  • GoyaThe Lunatics

  • Exoticism the sexy Other psychological/moral justification of imperialism? England is exotic to the Italians, Italy exotic to the English! a sense of escape?

  • Delacroix, The Death of Sardanapalus, 1826p. 333

  • detail,Sardanapalus

  • Ingres, Jean Auguste DominiqueLa Grand Odalisque1814Oil on canvas

  • Jean Auguste Ingres, The Turkish Bath, c1852-63text p. 344

  • Portrait of a Negress Marie Guillemine Benoist, 1800

    Political comment on the rights of women?p. 327

  • John Nash Royal Pavilion at Brighton 1815-1823 text p. 343

  • Revival of past styles Gothic & Romanesque revival free mixture of stylistic elements Gothic verticality & asymmetry

  • Fonthill Abbey 1823The most influential collapsed building?aka Beckfords follymentioned in text p. 342

  • Fonthill, painting of the interior by the architect, James Wyatt

  • Cole, The Architects Dream, 1840

  • Houses of Parliament, London, 1840-65text p. 343

  • An English building in India

  • Aspects of Romanticism in music & art The Engaged & Enraged Artist Nature Supernatural, demonic exoticism ancient (Medieval or folk not Greek) - rejection of Classicism & Renaissance

  • Goya, Executions of the Third of May, 1808 1814-15text p. 336Engaged & enraged: political critique

  • John Constable, The Hay Wain, 1821text p. 338NATURE: The Picturesque

  • Caspar David Friedrich,The Wanderer Above the Mists,c. 1817-18text p. 337NATURE: The Sublime

  • Goya,The Sleep of Reason Brings Forth Monsters1796-8etchingtext p. 345The escape from REASON

  • John Nash Royal Pavilion at Brighton 1815-1823 text p. 343EXOTICISM: another escape from Reason

  • Houses of Parliament, London, 1840-65text p. 342The escape from Reason, Part 3:REVIVAL OF THE PRE-RENAISSANCE PAST

    Political appt of incompetent sea captain (1826-1900) Hudson River School Frederic Edwin Church, born in Hartford, Connecticut,Writing of Claude Lorrain, an artist against whom the Hudson River painters measured themselves on their excursions abroad, Roger Fry said, "Claude's view of landscape is false to nature in that it is entirely anthropocentric. His trees exist for pleasant shade; his peasants to give us the illusion of pastoral life, not to toil for a living. His world is not to be lived in, only to be looked at in a mood of pleasing melancholy or suave revery." But I wonder if there ever was a form of landscape painting that is not "false" in this sense. The landscapes we represent are in effect texts in which our feelings and beliefs about nature, and hence about ourselves as inside and outside nature, are inscribed. According to Wen Fong, Travelers in a Wintry Forest, a twelfth-century Chinese painting after Li Ch'eng, transmits the proposition that "recluse scholars living in the mountains have rediscovered in nature a moral order lost in the human world." No such contrast is pointed in the Hudson River paintings, of course, because the natural and the social order for them were one - two modalities of divine presence in American reality. Through the metaphysical window of an oil painting its owner could see the face of God and almost hear the voice of God in the cataracts and echoing precipices of Catskill Mountain scenery. In an odd way, the paintings, in bringing God into the living rooms of the land, have almost the sacred office of religious icons. It says a great deal about the American mind in the early mid-nineteenth century that religious art took the form of landscapes that were Edenic, majestic, gorgeous and bombastic, rather than historical scenes of biblical enactment. It says a great deal as well about the mirror function of landscape painting that the transfigurative vistas of the Hudson River painters gave way, after the Civil War, to something more intimate and less awesome - to farms, for example, where sunsets mean the end of the day's labor, as the workman trudges homeward through diffuse illumination, rather than extravagant timberlands above which God addresses the nation through spectacular cloud formations flamboyantly lit up with cadmium reds and oranges. These were works of high Romanticism . . . Still, one misses the point if one sees these paintings only or even chiefly as transcriptions after nature. They are, with qualification, incidentally that. It is not altogether wrong to say, as John K. Howat, the curator of the show does in an interview in The New York Times, that "you can practically smell the light." The illusion of transcriptional exactitude was only a means to an end. The end was to have been a work "imbued," according to Durand, "with that indefinable quality recognized as sentiment or expression which distinguishes the true landscape from the mere sensual and striking picture." That is a beautiful formulation of a distinction between a visual text and a mere picture, and it is my sense that the message that this is God's country must still come through to an audience still responsive to the sentimental assurances of "divine visual language." It is a message transmitted in the vocabulary of waterfalls and rushing streams, storm clouds and florid dawns, massed foliage and blasted tree trunks. It is this, I think, that must explain the popularity of the show rather than the message Howat believes the paintings communicate to us: "The natural environment is something we have to preserve."


    John Nash remodeled the Royal Pavilion at Brighton between 1815 and 1823 for the then Prince of Wales, the future George IV. You can see the array of elements taken from various types of Indian and Islamic architecture. The domes, filigree screens, and archways echo the most elaborate stonework which the British would have seen in India and elsewhere, for example in the northern African colonized area or in places like Persia (present day Iran and Iraq).

    1801-1848) "Thomas Cole, born in Lancashire, England, was trained as an engraver of woodblocks used for printing calico. Because he did not have any formal education in art, his aesthetic ideas derived from poetry and literature, influences that were strongly to mark his paintings. The Cole family emigrated to America in 1818, but Thomas spent a year alone in Philadelphia before going on to Steubenville, Ohio, where his family had settled. He spent several years in Steubenville designing patterns and probably also engraving woodblocks for his father's wallpaper manufactory. He made his first attempts at landscape painting after learning the essentials of oil painting from a nebulous itinerant portraitist named Stein. In 1823, Cole followed his family to Pittsburgh and began to make detailed and systematic studies of that city's highly picturesque scenery, establishing a procedure of painstakingly detailed drawing that was to become the foundation of his landscape painting. "During another stay in Philadelphia, from 1823 to 1824, Cole determined to become a painter and closely studied the landscapes of Thomas Doughty and Thomas Birch exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy, His technique improved greatly and his thinking on the special qualities of American scenery began to crystallize. Cole next moved to New York, where the series of works he produced fol