Characteristics of Romanticism in the History of Art.
To characterise Romanticism within the fine arts one must consider the historical background from which this movement manifested, as it plays such an influential role in the Romantic artist's development of subject matter and style. The movement itself began around the beginning of the 19th century, and is often dated 1775 - 1830 it is important to note that this was a period of change and revolution in human rights, and the main countries this movement manifested in were Germany, Britain and in France during the French Revolution of 1789. This political and cultural revolution had a major affect on all of the arts as well as the visual arts; as artists began to revolt against Neo-Classical and academic traditions and look inwards into their own experience and imagination. Imagination is one of the most prominent themes in the Romantic Movement as artists began to direct their attention towards subjects other than the rigid definitions of genres within the academic world of painting, and also to the simplicity of the Medieval artists.
Instead, artists turned to literature (especially poetry), political and historical events as well as individual and imaginative styles of depicting this subject matter. This essay will aim to highlight and describe the manifestation of these themes, within this period, through the observation of the artist's work that is linked to the Movement.
The artists of the Romantic Movement, as suggested, no longer wanted to be constrained to the proscribed theories and practices of the Academies; who thought that everything that needed to be learned could be done so by observing the Roman Masters, and wished to create their own imaginative responses equalizing them with the authors and poets of the Romantic Literary Movement. One form of imaginative response,