Romanticism and Realism

Romanticism in the late 18th century stressed strong emotion, imagination, freedom from classical correctness in art forms, and rebellion against social conventions. Also anti-rational, stressing individualism and obsessed with death, destruction, the bizarre and the exotic. “Where Neoclassicism had portrayed a high morality that placed the good of society above all, Romanticism was centered in the subjective consciousness, the individual in isolation.”

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The Voyage of Life: Old Age (1842) by Thomas Cole at National Gallery of Art

 

Cave at Evening by Joseph Wright (1774) at Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Mass.

 

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References and notes are available for this essay.
Find a much more in-depth discussion in books by Roy Charles Henry.

 

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