Romanticism and Realism

The Voyage of Life Old Age (1842) by Thomas Cole at National Gallery of Art

Romanticism in the late 18th century stressed strong emotion, imagination, freedom from classical correctness in art forms, and rebellion against social conventions. Also anti-rational, stressing individualism and obsessed with death, destruction, the bizarre and the exotic.

“Where Neoclassicism had portrayed a high morality that placed the good of society above all, Romanticism was centered in the subjective consciousness, the individual in isolation.”[i]

Romanticism and Realism

[i]     Bonfante-Warren, Alexandra. The Musée D’ Orsay.
New York: Metro Books.  2000, page 13.


Cave at Evening by Joseph Wright (1774) at Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Mass.

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Find a much more in-depth discussion in books by Roy Charles Henry.

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