Romanticism: Be Naturally Unique
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” The people from the Romanticism period in Europe during the nineteenth century would strongly agree with Emerson’s words. Romantics thought it was important to be different and unique. Romantics are: Sensitive, emotional, prefer color to form, the exotic to the familiar, [are] eager for…adventure…of fantasy, [are] insistent on the uniqueness of the individual to the point of making a virtue eccentricity, the typical Romantic will hold that he cannot be typical, for the very concept of “typical” suggests the work of the pigeonholing intellect he scorns. (Brinton)
Romanticism “can be defined as a reaction against eighteenth-century neoclassicism and the rationalism and physical materialism of the European Enlightenment” (Edwardsen). It supported opposite ideas than those from the Enlightenment. In Casper David Friedrich’s art, Ludwig Tieck’s literature, Viscount Francois René de Chateaubriand’s religious proposals, and J. G. Herder’s philosophical ideas, these key concepts of Romanticism are found. Casper David Friedrich’s painting “Abbey Graveyard in the Snow,” depicts a Gothic view of a magical monastic church. It “rejects the limits of Enlightenment rationalism and the reality of nineteenth century urban life” (Sherman 107). The painting accurately demonstrates the sublime; it shows the importance of nature and arouses strong emotions, especially fear (Kagan et. al. 583). It is a very spooky painting that shows the contribution of surreal images during the Romantic period. Although it is somewhat accurate, many of its characteristics include unrealistic and imaginative concepts. An important Romantic idea is that one’s emotions and feelings are more important than rationality and order, as was supported during the Enlightenment. Nature was also a very important characteristic of...
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