Sunday, October 19, 2014

The three W's of Romanticism: the “what”, the “who”, and the “why”

Romanticism was praised for imagination over reason, emotion over logic and intuition over science making way for a vast body of literature of great sensibility and passion. Jacques Louis David and J.A.D. Ingres inspired this exotic, beautiful and emotionally shaped movement. Romanticism was a reaction against Neoclassicism.

         The French philosopher Denis Diderot says, “ All that stuns the soul, all that imprints a feeling of terror, leads to sublime ”( I agree with that quote because most of the paintings in the 18th century and 19th century were recreations of shipwrecks or showing a man’s struggle against nature of some sort.

 The Raft of Medusa (figure 1) 1819 Theodore G.  Wikimedia commons-Steven Zucker

 I believe this painting shows the struggling men trying to survive a shipwreck. The Raft of Medusa, which is a very emotional image and it shows examples of terror, hope, death, surrender, and a heroic figure. I say that it shows surrender by the man next to the man on top waving his white shirt, which we all know white represents surrender and we used that symbolic color in many wars and battles. I say it shows a heroic figure by the african american man being the one on top showing that he is the significant figure.

Liberty Leading The People 1830 (figure 2)  by Eugene Delacroix Wikimedia commons-Stephane Nay

                Baudelaire says, “ Delacroix was passionately in love with passion…”(Wellington, Hubert, the journal of Eugene Delacroix, introduction, page xiv). Eugene had loose, flowing brushstrokes and he studied visual effects of color. This painting represents a sparking Revolution and that the people and Liberty will stop at nothing to have their freedom.—
                       Seta Ates


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