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Unit 5

5.8 Romanticism

2 min readโ€ขmay 12, 2020

Jillian Holbrook

Dylan Black

Ah, romance.


Romanticism placed more emphasis on emotion; it marked a rejection of cold rationalism and logic. The passion of revolution and war spurred a return to base instincts and feelings. Romantic artists emphasized emotion, nature, and national histories. Romantic writers expressed similar themes and responded to current events.

Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau questioned the need for complete reliance on logic - emphasizing that emotion led to moral and societal improvements.

Romantic Art

Romantic art was all about emotional expression with dramatic uses of color and movement. It was also heavily inspired by โ€œexoticโ€ settings, such as the Middle East and Egypt.


Imaginary View of the Grand Gallery of the Louvre in Ruins, Hubert Robert (1796) (Louvre)


The Shadows of French Heroes who died in the wars of Liberty, received by Ossian Anne-Louis Girodet, (1802) (Chรขteau de Malmaison)


Liberty Leading the People, Eugรจne Delacroix (1830)

One of the most famous romantic paintings is French - Eugรจne Delacroixโ€™s Liberty Leading the People. This work of art combines revolutionary passion with the bold red, white, and blue colors of the French flag.ย 

Romantic Literature

Romantic literature was characterized by a few key indicators:

  1. Focus on the narrator/writerโ€™s emotions and inner thoughts

  2. Rejection of rationalism and industrialization

  3. Emphasis on nature, beauty, personal expression, and imagination

  4. Idealization of the family (women and children) and rural life

  5. Use of common language and subjects An example of romantic literature is Johann Wolfgang von Goetheโ€™s story, The Sorrows of Young Werther. The setting of the novel is the German countryside. Its thematic elements focus on unrequited love. When the title character, Werther, is unable to be with his love Charlotte, he takes his own life.

๐ŸŽฅ Watch: AP Europe - French Revolution & Neoclassical Art


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Unit 1: Renaissance and Exploration

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