Europe toward the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, 1878, Vol. 13 (Classic Reprint) PDF the medieval rather than the classical.
Författare: Friedrich Chrysander.
Although the movement was rooted in the German Sturm und Drang movement, which preferred intuition and emotion to the rationalism of the Enlightenment, the events and ideologies of the French Revolution were also proximate factors. The nature of Romanticism may be approached from the primary importance of the free expression of the feelings of the artist. The importance the Romantics placed on emotion is summed up in the remark of the German painter Caspar David Friedrich, „the artist’s feeling is his law“. To express these feelings, it was considered the content of art had to come from the imagination of the artist, with as little interference as possible from „artificial“ rules dictating what a work should consist of.
Not essential to Romanticism, but so widespread as to be normative, was a strong belief and interest in the importance of nature. This particularly in the effect of nature upon the artist when he is surrounded by it, preferably alone. The group of words with the root „Roman“ in the various European languages, such as „romance“ and „Romanesque“, has a complicated history, but by the middle of the 18th century „romantic“ in English and romantique in French were both in common use as adjectives of praise for natural phenomena such as views and sunsets, in a sense close to modern English usage but without the amorous connotation. In both French and German the closeness of the adjective to roman, meaning the fairly new literary form of the novel, had some effect on the sense of the word in those languages. The period typically called Romantic varies greatly between different countries and different artistic media or areas of thought. Margaret Drabble described it in literature as taking place „roughly between 1770 and 1848“, and few dates much earlier than 1770 will be found. These wars, along with the political and social turmoil that went along with them, served as the background for Romanticism.
The more precise characterization and specific definition of Romanticism has been the subject of debate in the fields of intellectual history and literary history throughout the 20th century, without any great measure of consensus emerging. Victorian paintings, romantic but not Romantic. The end of the Romantic era is marked in some areas by a new style of Realism, which affected literature, especially the novel and drama, painting, and even music, through Verismo opera. In northern Europe, the Early Romantic visionary optimism and belief that the world was in the process of great change and improvement had largely vanished, and some art became more conventionally political and polemical as its creators engaged polemically with the world as it was. Elsewhere, including in very different ways the United States and Russia, feelings that great change was underway or just about to come were still possible. In literature, Romanticism found recurrent themes in the evocation or criticism of the past, the cult of „sensibility“ with its emphasis on women and children, the isolation of the artist or narrator, and respect for nature.
Some authors cite 16th century poet Isabella di Morra as an early precursor of Romantic literature. An early German influence came from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, whose 1774 novel The Sorrows of Young Werther had young men throughout Europe emulating its protagonist, a young artist with a very sensitive and passionate temperament. Important motifs in German Romanticism are travelling, nature, for example the German Forest, and Germanic myths. The later German Romanticism of, for example E.
Goethe called Byron „undoubtedly the greatest genius of our century“. In contrast to Germany, Romanticism in English literature had little connection with nationalism, and the Romantics were often regarded with suspicion for the sympathy many felt for the ideals of the French Revolution, whose collapse and replacement with the dictatorship of Napoleon was, as elsewhere in Europe, a shock to the movement. Byron, Keats and Shelley all wrote for the stage, but with little success in England, with Shelley’s The Cenci perhaps the best work produced, though that was not played in a public theatre in England until a century after his death. Although after union with England in 1707 Scotland increasingly adopted English language and wider cultural norms, its literature developed a distinct national identity and began to enjoy an international reputation. Burns, an Ayrshire poet and lyricist, is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and a major influence on the Romantic movement.
British literature and drama in the era of Romanticism. Scottish „national drama“ emerged in the early 1800s, as plays with specifically Scottish themes began to dominate the Scottish stage. Theatres had been discouraged by the Church of Scotland and fears of Jacobite assemblies. In the later eighteenth century, many plays were written for and performed by small amateur companies and were not published and so most have been lost. Romanticism was relatively late in developing in French literature, more so than in the visual arts. French Romantic poets of the 1830s to 1850s include Alfred de Musset, Gérard de Nerval, Alphonse de Lamartine and the flamboyant Théophile Gautier, whose prolific output in various forms continued until his death in 1872.