1800 - 1860. Romanticism emerged as a reaction against Neoclassicism. It did not really replace the Neoclassical style, and many artists were influenced by both styles. It stressed strong emotion, legitimized the individual imagination as a critical authority, and overturned some previous social conventions. Although Romanticism and Neoclassicism were philosophically opposed, they were the dominant European styles for generations, and many artists were affected to a lesser or greater degree by both. Artists associated with Romanticism are Ivan Aivazovsky, William Bouguereau, Caspar David Friedrich, John Constable, Eugene Delacroix, and Francisco de Goya.

Artists and Articles

Francisco de Goya

Francisco de Goya is an innovative Spanish Romanticism painter, one of the great Spanish masters. As an artist, Goya was by temperament far removed from the classicals. In a few works he approached Classical style, but in the greater part of his work the Romantic triumphed. Straightforward candor and honesty are present in all Goya's works. The subversive and subjective element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of later generations of artists. For the bold technique of his paintings, the haunting satire of his etchings, and his belief that the artist's vision is more important than tradition, Goya is often called "the grandfather of modern art". Francisco de Goya became one of the most influential figures in Spanish art of all time. He was also extremely important in the development of modern aesthetic sensibility, a forerunner of Romanticism, both in the content of his paintings, with their in-depth exploration of reality and references to the dream world, and in his very original technique.

Ivan Aivazovsky

Ivan Aivazovsky, a Russian Armenian painter, most famous for his seascapes, which constitute more than half of his paintings. Aivazovskiy had a vivid and emotional understanding of reality. He always remained a romantic at heart even through his art could never separate itself from his academic background. The artist's expressive language was in complete harmony with the techniques that he used. As a young boy Aivazovskiy had known the sea, had loved it passionately and had known the secrets of its movements. It was this memory, together with his imagination, that was responsible for his best works. Rather than merely "reproduce" the sea, Aivazovskiy tells us its fables and thus makes a symbolic statement.

William Bouguereau

William Bouguereau, a French academic painter. His polished, refined technique and his sophisticated style represented the height of achievement in the French academic art tradition. His work was characterized by a highly finished, technically impeccable realism and a sentimental interpretation of his subject matter. Bouguereau paintings look professional, very skilful, and almost real. He masterfully brought together the elements of exquisite drawing, incredible coloration and perspective, and brilliant modeling and compositions. There can be little doubt that Bouguereau was one of the most talented painters of his time. Bouguereau received many honours in the 1860s and '70s as his career progressed; he exhibited regularly at the Salon for several decades and became for a time the most famous French painter of his day. As a proponent of official orthodoxy in painting, he played a major role in the exclusion of the works of the Impressionists and other experimental painters from the Salon. He exerted a wide influence, not only in France but in other countries, particularly the United States.



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