Romanticism – the escape from the real to the imaginary world

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Romanticism - the escape from the real to the imaginary world

The English poet William Wordsworth explains the principal of romanticism symbolism according to his poem:

„For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon my inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.“

We dare to jump to an era inspired concept from the Romanticism. The epoch was established between 1790 and 1830. The era name derived itself from the word “novelist” from what is “unreal” and “inventive”. It is one of the major art movements of the 19th century and is directed against the rationalistic worldview of the Enlightenment and against the classic literature.

Due to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution gradually crumbled the foundations of the divine principle. Therefore, it was the one-with God and nature and the feeling particularly important as an counterpart to the cold sanity for all the artists within this Era. The shattered time in the 18th century created the perfect breeding ground for emotionalism, the blossoming of the fantasy and the urge to penetrate the border counties of mental life. Another feature that has been deviated from Romanticism, was the escape from the real to the imaginary world. Seduced and dreaming of strange and exotic countries, was another aspect within this Era. The romantic artist felt like a genius who was able to disclose the remained hidden symbolic structures and signatures divine in nature. The intentions of an artist in this Era was to expand the space, break the strict form of architecture and human reason and the over-increasing amazement to translate the image into art.

“The art of Manliness” by Caspar David Friedrich

Eugène Delacroix

Caspar David Friedrich

Philipp Otto Runge

Artists today continue to discover more and more romantic influenced topics for themselves and figuratively set to address them. Each artwork reflects much more than the mere appearance. Most of the paintings are trying to pull the viewer out of his every day life, so that he can escape problems in an imaginary world – and this world is full of heartiness and passion. You are able to escape to a romantic scenes, such as Venice, walk out of a Chinese temple in kimono or drive around with your loved one on a Vespa. The beauty when looking at an artwork, is each artwork has a unique story to share but it is up to you to interpret it. The viewer itself has the ability to be seduced or might want to empathize in the artist´s work, to understand what the artist wants to express within those artworks.

The movement began in Germany where it was motivated largely by a sense of world weariness (“Weltschmerz“), a feeling of isolation and a yearning for nature. Later, Romantic tendencies also appeared in English and French painting.

An interesting epoch, that influenced artists globally even today.


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