The Romantic Age brought about some of the most well known artists as well as landmark works of art. This new age “involved a search for free, imaginative expression in personal, political, and artistic life” (Fiero, 325). Artists shed the discipline of the neoclassical era and embraced an impulsive and inventive new style, romanticism. Romanticism was all about freeing the artist from the restraints of neoclassicism and searching ones emotions and spirituality with nature and the natural. William Wordsworth, the reigning nature poet, believed that through your senses you could renew ones childish sense of wonder and imagination. Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads was the start of the romantic era in England. His definition of poetry being “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” was what the Romantic Age was all about. Wordsworth was able to embrace nature and put into words such poems as “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” inspired by a visit to a medieval monastery. William Blake was another poet who embraced nature although with a more mystical view and deep spirituality in his writings and artwork. Blake, a poet, painter, and engraver wrote, illustrated, and hand colored his works. Blake’s work would commonly feature moral issues such as “The Tiger”; it explores the question of why evil must always accompany good and why God would have it such a way.
In Romantic paintings such as landscapes, artists abandoned neoclassical techniques such as smooth brush strokes and polished lines, and went with a more spontaneous and often deliberately blurred detail. Romantics “produced a style that exalted temperament, accident, and emotion” (Fiero, 337). Artists took their inspiration directly from nature often taking their easels outdoors and painting what they saw. You could see this inspiration in such works as The Haywain painted by John Constable. Constable got his inspiration from the ordinary sights in nature such as brickwork and rotted planks....
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