Romanticism and Poetry

Until the early nineteenth century, art and poetry emphasized form and structure.Works of art in this classical style aspired to an idealized perfection, whether in form or subject.Classical paintings often depicted gods or war heroes in idealized poses, while examples classical poetry extolled the epitomes of virtue, whether in areas such as beauty or bravery in battle.The most important characteristic shared by art and literature until this period, however, was its orientation to rationalism, the noticeable absence of emotion.
The mid-nineteenth century, however, brought on a rebellion against the restraints and strictures of classicism.Instead of posed heroic portraits, paintings began to show nature in its raw state, without idealization.Literary imagery was meant to evoke strong emotion.Dubbed romanticism, this new art movement showed a range of feeling, from passion to melancholia.
This paper looks at examples of poetry and art that typify the romantic art movement.It looks at how the seascapes of John Constable and the poetry of William Blake both embody important characteristics of the romantic art movement, especially in regard to portrayals of nature.The paper also expounds on how these works of art and literature highlight emotion, in the tradition of the romantic art movement.
John Constable
John Constable grew up surrounded by the countryside of Suffolk, England, which later figured prominently in his paintings.His paintings of countrysides and later, seascapes, were characterized by great care shown to details that would not merit attention from classical painters.In 1815’s Boat-building near Flatford Mill, for example, Constable’s subjects are working-class people engaged in the everyday task of assembling a boat.This is a significant departure from the mythology or idealized battle scenes that typified the classical period.
The painting is dominated by an inanimate object — a boat — instead …