Romanticism was a cultural movement in the 19th century, which changed art, music and literature. It came after neo-classicism, which had sought to organize and rationalize the over extravagant baroque era.
There are several themes in romanticism. There was an intense interest in the distant past, particularly the Middle Ages. Also, nationalism and a more patriotic outlook on life, along with a break with artistic convention, brought forth more individual expression.
There are many beautiful works of music from the Romantic era. Innovation played a strong part in making the music so unique. For example, composing five movements for a symphony rather than four, and composing choral symphonies. Individualism was also central. Ludwig van Beethoven brought forth program music. Verdi, Beethoven, Liszt, Chopin and Schumann were a few romantic composers.
The Gothic revival was a key part of romantic architecture. The romantic architects would complete many of the unfinished Gothic cathedrals left over from the Middle Ages. A couple examples of Gothic cathedrals are the Sainte-Chappelle and the Notre-Dame in Paris. Karl Shinkel (1781 – 1841) was a fundamental architect during the Gothic revival. He also painted several depictions of Gothic architecture.
My favorite part of romanticism is the painting. My favorite artists are Thomas Cole and Albert Bierstadt. The latter painted mainly landscapes of the Rocky Mountains. Cole’s most famous work is the Voyage of Life. The romantic paintings are very emotional and dramatic. They portray nature as beautiful and glorious but also terrible and dangerous. Eugene Delacroix was also a very famous French painter of that time.
There are several romantic authors, among them: Goethe, Coleridge, Byron, Blake, Wordsworth, Chateaubriand, Hugo and Shelly.