What Did the Romantic Movement Stress?


Quick Answer

Romanticism rebelled against the established order of Classicism and late 18th-century Neoclassicism, emphasizing imagination, emotions and intuition over reason, science and logic. Romantic literature focused on the extraordinary or isolated individual, exploring his or her passions and moods. Romantic art often depicted scenes of unspoiled and untamed wilderness that served as extensions of the human spirit. Eventually, the movement warped into a protest against bourgeois conventions, society and morality.

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Romanticism rose in part due to the revolutions and wars that marked the late-18th century and peppered the hope and optimism of Neoclassicism with doubt and fear. There is no clear delineation between the two styles, but the Romantic period is generally agreed to have lasted from 1790 to 1835. The year 1790 also marks the end of the Age of Enlightenment and the beginning of the French Revolution. The Revolution had enormous influence in Germany, France and England, all of which came to celebrate individuality and independence.

Romanticism began as a literary movement rather than a wholly artistic one, and it developed as a response to the disillusionment that rose when the Age of Enlightenment demonstrated the inability of human ability to answer all questions. Accordingly, the Romantics reasoned that there was a divine order and structure that could only be comprehended through imagination and intuition.

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