Romanticism in American Art and Literature

Romanticism in American Art and Literature

Romanticism in American Art and Literature 1800-1855 What led to Romanticism? Independence in religion and

politics Expansion in America Urbanization and industrialism (dehumanization) Confusion generated by science (Darwin, for example)

Growing Distrust of Reason Age of Reason Society is good because it curbs violent impulses.

Romanticism Civilization corrupts! Characteristics of Romanticism

1. Individualism stability of the community fulfillment of the individual Characteristics of Romanticism 2. The Rugged Hero

Youthful, innocent, intuitive One with nature Loner Handsome, brave, moral and honorable Characteristics of

Romanticism 3. Individualism in Art The artist is -Apart from society -A social critic and revolutionary -A genius -The true philosopher

Characteristics of Romanticism 4. Emotionalism Backlash against rationalism characterized by Age of Reason Feeling is the test of authenticity

(not reason) Characteristics of Romanticism Emotionalism Continued Imagination, intuition, and inspiration creation of all art forms

Romantic artist = inspired creator (not technical master) Emphasis on spontaneity rather than being precision, control, or realism Characteristics of Romanticism

Emotionalism Continued Romantic love is a subject of poetry Poetry is a form of emotional communication Painful and pleasurable emotions are equally valid to Romantic poets

Characteristics of Romanticism 5. Rejection of Traditional Authority Influenced by American and French Revolutions Authority derives from self

Questioning of government and societal hierarchies Political statements popular in art Characteristics of Romanticism 6. Nature and Mysticism

Love of and spiritual involvement with nature Supernatural, awesome, horrifying, and overwhelming power of nature all highlighted Characteristics of

Romanticism 7. Primitivism civilization corrupts The child raised with the greatest possible freedom will develop in more admirable ways Youth and infancy are valued above

wisdom of old age Innocence more valued than experience Humans born into innocence (Puritans?) Characteristics of Romanticism 8. Romantic Escapism

Urban vs. Rural settings The romantic journey is to the countryside Cities= greed, poverty, and dehumanization (Industrial Revolution) Nature = escape, independence, moral clarity and purity

The Gothic novel Wild, haunted landscapes Supernatural events Mysterious Dreams and madness Interest in unknown and

unknowable Poe was Americas greatest Romantic gothic writer JMW Turner Fisherman at Sea

JMW Turner The Chancel and Crossing of Tintern Abbey, Looking Towards the East Window Caspar David Freidrich Wanderer Above the

Sea of Fog Infinite potential and possibility of man Awesome,

mysterious grandeur of nature Caspar David Friedrich Abbey on an Oak Forest Thomas Cole

The Clove Catskills Thomas Cole The Course of an Empire The Savage State The Arcadian or Pastoral State

The Consummation of Empire The Destruction Desolation

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