Romantic 19th Century Painting
The 19th century was welcomed with a flourish of new ideas. One of the drastic changes was the development of romanticism in art, especially in paintings. Romanticism includes features of artistic intellect, nature, industrialization, life, nobility, and a lot of emotion recorded through art. Many romantic artists created their works focusing on the negativity of industrialization, regarding the industrial revolution. These paintings often times were associated with an eerie or frightening feeling, or the opposite, a warm and positive feeling, depending on what emotions the artists intended to evoke in their viewers. In this particular romantic painting, a focus is put on both industrialization and the natural aspects surrounding society during the 19th century. One can tell that the painter felt negatively regarding new industry considering the dark colors and the moon rising behind the buildings and bridge in the background, creating an eerie feel. On the other hand, there are features of nature in this painting as well. In the bottom left corner there are a few animals grazing by a river in the foreground of the buildings, which represents the conflict between nature and industry during this era. Although romanticism is sometimes referred to as liberal or radical, many painters were idealists and wished for nature to stay as it was and resented the progressive movement in society. Thus, the darkness of the buildings and the light shining and surrounding the natural aspects of this painting is a profound hint at what was occurring during the time this painting was created. People viewing this artwork would be in awe of it… yet at the same time, would question the mystery surrounding the midnight-moon shining down on this first glimpse of industrialization.
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