David Blayney Brown
Romanticism was “a way of feeling” rather than a style in art in the period c.1775-1830. Against the background of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, artists, poets and composers across Europe initiated their own rebellion against the dominant political, religious and social ethos of the day. Their quest was for personal expression and individual liberation, directness and spontaneity, with an emphasis on the unique integrity of every work. In the process, the Romantics changed the idea of art, seeing it as an instrument of social and psychological change. In this comprehensive volume, David Blayney Brown takes a thematic approach to this fascinating period of art history, relating it to the concurrent, more stylistic movements of Neoclassicism and the Gothic Revival, and discussing its integral relationship with the political and social developments of the era. He not only looks at how artists as diverse as Goya in Spain, Delacroix in France, Friedrich in Germany and Turner in Britain responded to landscapes or depicted historical events, but also examines artists such as David and Ingres who are not usually considered Romantics.Brown examines the influence of Romantic ideas on American artists and concludes with an analysis of the universal relevance of Romantic ideas. As a result, the reader is given an understanding of a movement that produced some of the greatest and most inspiring European art, literature and music.
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