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Romanticism as defined by the Grove Dictionary of Art:
“Dominant cultural tendency in the Western world in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It caused a re-evaluation of the nature of art and the role of the artist in society. Significantly, from the 1790s it was a self-proclaimed movement, the first such, and so initiated a tradition that has remained in Western culture since. Romanticism was rejected or ignored by most of the major artists later seen as associated with it, but it nevertheless identified several key tendencies of the period. Though hard to define precisely, it essentially involves: 1) placing emotion and intuition before (or at least on an equal footing with) reason; 2) a belief that there are crucial areas of experience neglected by the rational mind; and 3) a belief in the general importance of the individual, the personal and the subjective. In fact it embodies a critique of that faith in progress and rationality that had characterized the main trend of Western thought and action since the Renaissance. This resulted in an opposition to the dominant contemporary values and social structures. Romanticism started as a literary movement but soon came to include the visual arts, particularly painting, the most notable exponents being Blake, Delacroix, Friedrich, Gericault, Goya, Philipp Otto Runge and Turner.
To a lesser extent it also affected the graphic arts, sculpture and architecture. By the 1840s it was being superseded by Realism, though many of its ideas persisted throughout the 19th century and into the 20th.”
Using your textbook, and the artists associated with Romanticism (Blake, Goya, Friedrich, Constable, Gericault, Delacroix, Turner, Cole), please select two artists and discuss their work in terms of what makes them emblematic of Romanticism. 2-3 short paragraphs.
What beliefs about the purpose of art do you think are typical of the ‘Romantic’ Era?
How is the ‘purpose’ of this type of art different from what you have studied so far this term? What are your thoughts about the change in ‘agenda’ or purpose of this art?



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