Notes; The Romantic World View: The Self Nature and the Nature of Self: •The River Wye has become an essential part of the education as reported by a British magazine writer in 1798. •In the eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth centuries, America had a loosely knit group known as the Transcendentalist, whom sought to discover the “transcendent” order of nature. •Nature itself was viewed as the greatest teacher to poets, painters, essayists, and composes of these times. •Romantic artist revolted against the classical values of order, control, balance, and proportionality of the neoclassical artists. Instead, approaching the world with an outpour of feelings and emotional intensity that was to be called Romanticism. •Originally coined in 1798 by German writer/poet Friedrich von Schlegel (1772-1892), “Romanticism” was an overt reaction against he Enlightenment and classical culture.
•Schlegel was deeply influenced by the philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), and by Johann Winckelmann’s perspective of Greek art. •Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge was one of the founders of the Romantic Movement. The Romantic artists felt that the emotional side of all things was just ass or more important that the logical or thinking mind. The Early Romantic Imagination: •William Wordsworth (1770-1850), visited Wye Valley with his sister Dorothy. His experience lead him to write “Tintern Abbey,” which embody the very idea of romantic for his entire generation. •“Tintern Abbey” can be taken as one of the fullest statements of the romantic imagination. •Wordsworth suggests in his poem that the mind is an active participant in the process of human perception rather than a passive vessel.
A Romantic Experiment: Lyrical Ballads •Lyrical Ballads a book of poems co-written by Wordsworth and his friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge, which was published anonymously. •Wordsworth defines poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” resulting from “emotion recollected in tranquility. ” •Wordsworth moved to the Northern Lakes District in 1799 with his sister. Over the next seven years he wrote some of his best poems, such as “The Rainbow,” published in 1807 as Poems in Two Volumes. Romanticism as a Voyage of Discovery:
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: •“Rime of the Ancient Mariner” a long narrative poem which opened Lyrical Ballads, is about a man at odds with nature. •Coleridge’s poem contains a clear moral lesson. The Mariner’s killing of the albatross is an act of bad faith, which puts him at odds with the natural world. •Only after blessing the water snakes, making him whole with nature once more. Classical versus Romantic: The Odes of John Keats •The Odes of John Keats (1795-1821), represents the essence of Romantic poetry. Keats greatest poems were written in one year September 1818 to September 1819, when he was deeply in love with a young woman and diagnosed with tuberculosis (which killed his mother) at the same time. •Keats’s Ode on a Grecian Urn greatest achievement is that it dissolves the greatest opposition of them all, uniting life and death. The Romantic Landscape: •English Romantic painters were influenced by Dutch landscape painters, including Jacob van Ruisdael, as well as French painters Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain.
John Constable: Painter of the English Countryside •John Constable (1776-1837) like Wordsworth, he felt his talents depended on “faithful adherence to the truth of nature. ” •Constable’s religious sentiment underscore by the presence of the Dedham parish church in his painting A Worshipper of Nature. •The Hay Wain, one of a series of paintings he referred to as his “six-footers” that he worked on from 1819 to 1825. Joseph Mallord William Turner: Colorist of the Imagination. •Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) was closer to Coleridge in temperament.
He freely explored what he called “the colors of the imagination. ” •Turner’s work is exotic, remote, and even alienating. •Turner wrote lines to accompany the paintings in the exhibition catalogue. The Romantic in Germany: Friedrich and Kent •Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) represents the imaginative capacities of the Romantic mind by placing solitary figures, before sublime landscapes. •Philosopher Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (1781) argued that the mind is not passive receptive of information, that it is, the “blank slate” that Locke had claimed. Kant believed that the ways we understand concepts like space, time, quantity, relations among things, and, especially, quality, are innate from birth. Closer Look: •The sublime is the prospect of anything beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend it fully. •Picturesque finds its roots in the English Garden Movement, occupying a middle ground between the sublime and the beautiful. The America Romantic Landscape:
•Englishman, Thomas Cole (1801-1848) one of the foremost American landscape painters of the times. •Cole, the most prominent artist, became known as the Hudson River School. His pupil, Frederick Edwin Church (1826-1900) painted a number of enormous paintings of the Andes Mountains in South America. •Church’s masterpiece Twilight in the Wilderness. •In 1864, President Lincoln signed an act declaring that Yosemite Valley “be held for public use, resort, and recreation for “inalienable for all time. ” •1872, Congress established Yellowstone as the nations first national park. Transcendentalism and the American Romantics: •Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) a Unitarian minister wrote his first book Nature, published anonymously in 1836. The book became an intellectual beacon for a group of Concord locals, known as the “Transcendental Club. ” •Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) fiercely independent, nation’s most vocal abolitionists briefly jailed for refusing to pay poll tax to government that tolerated slavery. •Most famously for two years (1845-1847), he lived in a small cabin he built, on Emerson’s property at Walden Pond. His experience spawned Walden, or Life in the Woods, book published in 1854. •Thoreau’s woods are the same that Emerson extols in Nature.