The age of Enlightenment in the C18th created a storm of reason to blow across Europe. The ideals of rational thought and behaviour were taken to extreme degrees and as in all things of nature extremes will not be tolerated and the emergence of the art movement known as ‘Romanticism’ was just such a reaction.
- The movement arose in Germany amongst German writers who began to rebel against their ordered rational education.
- They wanted to inject emotion into their work, to bring back that sense of wonder and beauty, that ethereal thinking and by doing so recognize the artist as a superior emotional entity.
The idea of the artist existing simply to explore emotion and paint for the sake of painting was totally new development.
- Artists prior to the Romantic Period painted commissioned works or were craftsmen.
- The idea of an artist, as a gifted individual giving vent to emotional imaginary work was unheard of . They thus became rather rarified, ‘other wordly’ beings, separate from the rest of society.
- Lord Byron, who had dabbled with the enlightenment movement, spending time with the astronomers, Caroline and William Herschel, embraced the Romantic Movement and became the embodiment of the knew thinking.
Whether through poetry, art or music by Schubert, Wagner or Beethoven, the Romantic Movement succeeded in placing ‘The Arts’ into a separate entity, away from science and created the ‘avant garde’, a new way of thinking and viewing the world, a creative and emotional way.
Explore the intriguing connections that were forged between artists and scientists in the Enlightenment period by clicking on the theme Enlightenment.
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