The revolution of ideasThe style of Romanticism replaced
At first, the audience was really shocked: strict lines, theatrical gestures and the cold beauty of angels were replaced by violent, and sometimes even demonic passions! Romanticists pay a lot of attention to "the dark side" of nature, and the phrase "Goya's ghosts" has already become common. But the main thing is that with the help of the emotionality of their living artworks romanticist artists seem to involve the audience into the circle of subjects, and instead of the detached admiration of the picture, there appears the effect of participation.
The raft and stronghold of romanticism.
The "homeland" of romanticism in painting is considered to be France, and the appearance of Théodore Géricault's Raft of the Frigate Medusa at the Salon in 1819, at the prestigious official exhibition of the Paris Academy of Fine Arts, is almost the "birthday" of the style. "Aesthetic revolution" from the composition to the subject and presentation is obvious! The artist depicted the exciting moment of recent history, based on a true story: the shipwreck of a French frigate off the coast of Senegal in 1816, and the tragic history of the survival of 15 of the 140 ship passengers on a small raft.
Delacroix became Gericault’s best faithful ally and one of the brightest representatives of a new artistic movement — Romanticism. It was he who created another "canonical" work of this style — Liberty Leading the People (1830). However, the subject of a popular uprising against the monarchy of the Bourbons was rather an exception for the creator, who once said "It’s scary to imagine how many monuments and masterpieces were destroyed by revolutions". But how many were inspired by them! Even Russian creators were among the inspired ones since revolutionary ideas in art turned out to be close to them. Russian artists had a number of reasons to share this path to Romanticism, among which there was a victory in the Patriotic war of 1812, creative freedom in the homeland with exhibitions at the Academy of Arts, travelling and business trips abroad (Bryullov, for example, underwent a "training course" in Italy), and even the emotionality characteristic of Russian people.
Famous representatives of Romanticism in artThéodore Géricault, Eugène Delacroix, Honoré Daumier, Pierre Jean David d’Angers, Antoine-Louis Barye, François Rude, John Constable, Richard Parkes Bonington, William Turner, Philipp Otto Runge, Caspar David Friedrich, Joseph Anton Koch, George Inness, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Viktor Madarász, Louis Gallet, Josef Mánes, Piotr Michałowski, Jan Matejko, Orest Kiprensky, Ivanov, Alexander Ivanov, Karl Bryullov, Ivan Aivazovsky
Significant works— Théodore Géricault — The Raft of the Medusa ("Le Radeau de la Méduse"), 1819. This is one of the first most prominent works of the era of Romanticism
— Eugène Delacroix — Liberty Leading the People ("La Liberté guidant le peuple"), 1830. The painting exhibited at the Paris Salon received public recognition, but, being bought by the government, was hidden from it.
— Karl Bryullov — The Last Day of Pompeii (1830 — 1833). The picture perfectly characterizes the style of Romanticism in Russian painting.
- You are a layman ... if you think that William Turner is only the romantic character of the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean"! Briton William Turner is one of the best representatives of romanticist artists. However, the maritime theme did not remain without his attention: one of his famous artworks – "The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up" (1838)
- You are an expert if you ... can straight off recognize the face of the writer Nikolai Gogol "in the crowd" on the canvas "The Appearance of Christ Before the People" (1837 – 1857) by Alexander Ivanov. Or if a sudden visit of your best mother-in-law brings out the name of the painting "The Last Day of Pompeii" by Ivanov's disciple Karl Bryullov.
What a story!The most well-known portrait of the Polish composer and pianist Fryderyk Chopin created by his friend Eugène Delacroix, is only part of the picture! Alas, the double portrait Frédéric Chopin and George Sand in its original form does not exist since 1880, when it was cut in two, according to various sources, either because "the greedy owners wanted to sell it for a higher price", or "at the insistence of George Sand."
So, when does a study remain a mere drill, and when can we call it an artwork in its own right, full of life and having artistic value? Read more