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The Romantic Age

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The Romantic Age By: Amanda Frazier As I went through the book I found that the art works produced during the Romantic Age were expressive and communicated a great idea of struggle and conflict. The works I chose are "The Raft of the "Medusa"," "The Slave Ship," and "The 28th July: Liberty Leading the People." The Romantic Age began in 1800 with Napoleon Bonaparte and ended around 1900 with the Vatican Council. The first work shows the feeling behind the wreck of the frigate "Medusa" that took place in 1816. Painter and lithographer, Theodore Gericault, was the leader of the French Romantic movement; The Raft of the Medusa was his most ambitious work. In this film we see how he consciously sought for headline public events to provide a subject for a major work that would launch his career. The Medusa, a government vessel, had sunk off the West African coast, and 150 people tried to escape on a raft. After thirteen days, only fifteen were rescued alive. They had had nothing but a few drops of wine - and human meat - to sustain them. The tragedy was blamed on official negligence and created a political scandal. Gericault depicted the instant when the survivors first saw the rescue ship, and he went to extraordinary lengths to achieve authenticity. ...read more.


The new development reached its climax around 1840 with such works as The Slave Ship (Boston), in which he moves further along the path of abstracting the forces of nature into a powerful moving symbol. Rather than the literary and more specifically Romantic symbols of earlier works, such as The Falls of the Rhine at Schaffhausen or The Fighting Temeraire, the painter now transforms his canvas into a dynamically moving symbol of a force without form, a force such as the power of the sea, the movement of rain, the dynamism of a train, the enveloping character of a fog. It is to the "inner meaning of a -given idea" that works such as the Rain, Steam and Speed, Slave Ship, Whale Ship, SnowStorm, etc., are dedicated, very prolific as well as successful during his lifetime. Turner left a large estate. His greatest contribution was the symbolic landscape, but he had also performed magnificently in the field of classical and Romantic landscapes and seascapes. His sense of movement and atmosphere mark a full step forward in the development of open-air painting and consequently toward the Impressionism of the 1860's and '70's. Delacroix, Eugene, 1798-1863, French painter. Delacroix is considered the foremost painter of the Romantic Movement in France; his influence as a colorist is inestimably great. ...read more.


The view of the raft is separated into two parts each forming triangles. To avoid an unbalanced composition Gericault overlapped the triangles. The left most triangle contains those dying or near death and represents despair and despondency. In contrast the right triangle encloses the hopeful people reaching toward rescue. Many of the figures are gazing or motioning towards the figures holding the cloth, which brings your attention to the focus of the painting. One of the most effective ways Gericault portrays the stormy emotional atmosphere of the painting is through contrasting the lighted horizon near the rescue boat with the dark clouds in the sky. The reasons that "The Raft of the "Medusa"" fits into the romantic age is by Gericault's use of dramatic anatomic images, dramatic light dark color illustrations. The inequities in French society, used man's fight for survival as a recurring theme, he shows great emphasis on emotion, and he concentrates on reality rather than idealism. Romanticism for example, is characterized by freedom of form and spirit. It places a strong emphasis on feeling and originality. These three works have been influential and emotional throughout the years. These paintings have made a great impression on my life and I enjoyed learning about the Romantic Age. The realism and emotion that went into every artist's plan, the sheer time it took for the artist to plan their work is utterly amazing. http://www.histofig.com/empire/ http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/5/0,5716,37255+1+36547,00.html http://encarta.msn.com/find/Concise.asp?ti=037B1000 ...read more.

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