Romanticism: Be Naturally Unique Ralph Wald Emerson once said, “to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. ” The people from the Romanticism period in Europe during the nineteenth century would strongly agree with Emerson words. Romantics thought it was important to be different and unique. Romantics are: Sensitive, emotional, prefer color to form, the exotic to the familiar, [are] eager for… Adventure… F fantasy, [are] insistent on the uniqueness of the individual to the point of making a virtue eccentricity, the typical Romantic will old that he cannot be typical, for the very concept of “typical” suggests the work of the pigeonholing intellect he scorns. (Britton) Romanticism “can be defined as a reaction against eighteenth-century neoclassicism and the rationalism and physical materialism of the European Enlightenment” (Edwards). It supported opposite ideas than those from the Enlightenment.
In Capper David Fredrick’s art, Ludwig Tick’s literature, Viscount Fran??ois Rene?? De Sectarianism’s religious proposals, and J. G. Herder’s philosophical ideas, these key concepts of Romanticism are found. Capper David Fredrick’s painting “Abbey Graveyard in the Snow,” depicts a Gothic view of a magical monastic church. It “rejects the limits of Enlightenment rationalism and the reality of nineteenth century urban life” (Sherman 107). The painting accurately demonstrates the sublime; it shows the importance of nature and arouses strong emotions, especially fear (Kananga et. L. 583). It is a very spooky painting that shows the contribution of surreal images during the Romantic period. Although it is somewhat accurate, many of its characteristics include unrealistic and imaginative concepts. An important Romantic idea is that one’s emotions and feelings are more important than rationality and order, as was supported during the Enlightenment. Nature was also a very important characteristic of Romanticism. Frederica does a great Job of including “the spirituality of nature and the glories or Christianity’ (Sherman 107) in this painting.
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He portrays the humans as very insignificant compared to the overwhelming natural figures surrounding them. This melancholy painting clearly demonstrates many of the important aspects from the Romantic period. Like Frederica, Johann Gottfried herder showed the key concepts of Romanticism but through his philosophical essay “On the Knowing and Feelings of the Human Soul. ” By “[rejecting] the mechanical explanation of nature… [and] believing [that] each language and culture are the unique expression of people” (Kananga et. L. 588) it is evident that Herder is a true Romantic man. To Herder, nature and organic concepts were significant aspects. Individuality and each individual accepting their unique qualities was also something that Herder supported and thought was important for each person to have, Just as most Romantics do. Viscount Fran??ois Rene?? De Sectarianism’s book, The Genius of Christianity also demonstrates the “strong Roman Catholic revival [that] took place in France” during the Romantic period (Kananga et. Al. 587).
This book taught all Catholics that “the foundation of faith in the church was the emotion that its teachings and sacraments inspired in the heart of the Christian” (Kananga et. Al. 587). Passion was very important to Catholicism in Sectarianism’s perspective. In the book, Scatterbrained writes, “every thing in a Gothic church reminds you of the labyrinths of a wood… And] excites a feeling of religious awe, of mystery, and of the Divinity’ (Sherman 107). The Genius of Christianity shows classic characteristics from the Romantic period such as curiosity in the supernatural and the irrational, along with dramatic and gothic scenes created.
As Scatterbrained says himself, “the more remote were these times the more magical they appeared… The more they inspired ideas… ” (Sherman 107). Scatterbrained sees a correlation between the secluded time period and the magical and imaginative interpretations. To depict Romantic characteristics, Ludwig Thick sees his novel, William Lovely, to create a comparison between a Romantic character, Lovely, and Enlightened characters. Lovely’s “life is built on love and imagination” (Kananga et. Al. 81) but the people he is compared to “live by cold reason alone” (Kananga et. Al. 581). Ludwig attacks reasonable and rational concepts by saying that imagination is better and more important. By portraying two women, who are very materialistic and reasonable, and how they destroy Lovely, Thick does a good Job of criticizing the rational world. Because Thick depicts the negative aspects of enlightened thought, he, at the same time, tries to support and overcome people with natural, irrational, and imaginative Romantic ideals.
Evidently, it was very important to Romantics to remain unique individuals and be proud of their own individuality. They all enjoyed nature and what it brought for people in this Romantic period. Although something might be strange, or even scary, it was admired for its natural appeal and the affect it had on one’s emotions. Oliver James put the importance of individuality into the question, “why are you trying so hard to fit in, when you’re born to stand out? “