“The artist's feeling is his law” - Caspar David Friedrich
Artists of Romanticism preached and believed in the importance of feelings and imagination rather than rationality.
The artists of romanticism aimed to be free from all kinds of artificial rules about what a piece of art should be.
Instead, romanticist artists believed art should flow freely from an artist’s imagination and aspirations.
Romantic artists helped drive romanticism as an artistic movement emphasizing individualism, emotion, nature, and political ideologies.
Romanticism was a response to the Enlightenment Age, which had a more central emphasis on reason and science.
More than an artistic movement Romanticism was a lifestyle where artists merely wanted to create art that conveyed true feelings and communicated with the common man.
These famous romanticism artists are not only some of the biggest names in the history of romanticism but their work covers various painting styles and techniques.
Know more about romanticism through these 12 famous artists of romanticism who changed the tide of the era.
So let’s dive right in!
1. Francisco Goya
Francisco Goya rose to popularity after his series of tapestry cartoons and later on was chosen as the court painter to the Spanish Crown.
Goya later advanced and ventured into dark paintings for which he is most known today.
Black Paintings were his series of 14 paintings that portray extreme, haunting themes that mirror his fear of insanity and his grim outlook on humanity.
Goya is also acclaimed for his highly artistic elements and bold use of paint.
He adorned the Romantic beliefs of expressing the artist’s feelings and imaginative personal world in his artworks.
His artworks demonstrate Romanticism’s emphasis on subjectivity, imagination, and emotion.
Goya’s use of broad brushstrokes opened new doors to Impressionism’s spontaneous style, as did his art’s typical Spanish subject matter.
The Peninsular War inspired his famous paintings like The Second of May 1808 and The Third of May 1808.
Goys used his artworks as a weapon to express the ultimate flowering of rage that he felt in the face of so much bloodshed and horror.
He was not only known as the last of the Old Masters but also the first of the Moderns.
Goya was the last great painter whose artworks were the perfect balance of thought and observation and combined to form a faultless unity.
2. Joseph Mallord William Turner
Joseph Mallord William Turner is one of the most prominent landscape artists of the romanticism movement.
When he ventured into landscapes it was a time when landscape paintings were considered merely low art.
He used a poetic and artistic approach to landscape art that elevated the genre of landscapes to rival history painting.
Turner’s dedication to restoring heightened states of consciousness and being helped define the Romanticism movement.
He was popularly known as “the painter of light” for his mastery in capturing the effects of color and light.
His early works captured every little architectural and natural detail, but his later compositions became more fluid with a mere suggestion of movement.
Some of his major works during this period include The Fighting Temeraire (1839) and Rain, Steam, and Speed – the Great Western Railway (1844).
These romantic paintings were his response to the numerous changes caused due to the Industrial Revolution.
His use of abstractions is considered way ahead of his time, and he advocated the artistic movement known as Impressionism.
Suggested Read: Realism Art Movement
3. Caspar David Friedrich
Caspar David Friedrich developed a strong reputation in his early career due to his purely religious or intellectual aesthetics.
This German Romantic artist had a motto to paint what is within him using his imagination and feelings.
Friedrich gained popularity as a landscape artist with his artworks like Monk by the Sea (1808-10) and Abbey in an Oak Forest (1809-10).
Friedrich’s landscape also carried political significance as he depicted many German sites with a sense of pride and power.
Friedrich is popular for his unique representation of humans amid night skies, morning mists, and barren trees.
His portrayal of man illustrates the diminished strength of humankind on the greater scale of life.
His most powerful tool was his fascination with nature and his strength to find the presence of the divine in it.
Friedrich took landscape art and elevated the genre by infusing it with deep religious and spiritual significance.
4. Eugene Delacroix
Eugene Delacroix is popularly recognized as the leader of the Romantic movement in France.
His artworks were a combination of violent subject matter; dramatic poses; dramatic use of color and expressive brushwork.
All these elements played a pivotal role in making Romanticism an effective movement in not only France but throughout the western world.
He stressed capturing expression and emotion through the art he creates.
His masterpiece Liberty Leading the People is perhaps the most renowned work of the entire Romanticism movement.
His Salon paintings like the Death of Sardanapalus and Massacre at Chios were his unabashed portrayal of human suffering under the hands of power.
These works not only signaled a new direction in modern art but also emphasized emotional gratification above order and rationality.
Delacroix is the most renowned French Romantic painter and he shaped later art movements like Impressionism and Symbolism.
5. John Constable
The Romantic Era was popular for favoring landscapes and John Constable was one of the most influential artists of the genre.
He had a special attachment to his birthplace, the Essex-Suffolk border in east England.
His most adorned masterpieces portray the landscape of this area, which is now known as Constable Country.
John Constable was against the Neoclassical school of thought that used standard practices while creating landscape art.
These standard practices included using landscapes to display historical and mythical scenes.
Constable rather focused on nature on its own to bring out its beauty and power.
He was enchanted by changing patterns of clouds and light and he desired to capture these moments in his oil sketches.
The Dedham Vale, The Hay Wain, and Wivenhoe Park are some of his most famous contributions to the art world.
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6. Theodore Gericault
Theodore Gericault had a major impact on the history of French painting.
Gericault’s fascination for the dark side of human psychology, and his empathy for the weaker sections of society set the path for Romanticism’s intensity on emotion and subjectivity.
His artworks portrayed dramatic scenes from real life and depicted them through the most humble subjects.
Géricault used brisk and dynamic brushstrokes and contrasting light effects which were completely different from the refined Néoclassical style of painting.
The Raft of the Medusa his 1819 painting portrayed the aftermath of a contemporary French shipwreck.
This painting went on to become an icon of the emerging Romantic movement in French painting.
His artworks established a strong foundation of aesthetic revolution that was unique and offbeat as opposed to the Neoclassical style.
Being regarded as one of the leading pioneers of Romanticism Géricault had a huge influence on the following generation of French artists.
7. Ivan Aivazovsky
Ivan Aivazovsky was one of the most influential Russian artists of his time who also served as the main painter of the Russian Navy.
His career spanned almost 60 years during which he created almost close to 6,000 paintings.
The Russian Empire honored his prolific work with prestigious awards like the Order of St. Vladimir in 1865 and the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky in 1897.
He became the first non-French artist to receive the Legion of Honour in 1857.
Ivan Aivazovsky is one of the few Russian Romantic painters to have reached the peak of glory.
His patriotic attachment to his country is apparent in his naval victory paintings.
Aivazovsky was an artist who beautifully infused the spirit of Romanticism into scenes otherwise coldly depicted in their self-conscious splendor.
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8. Henry Fuseli
Henry Fuseli was a prominent Swiss painter, writer, and draftsman.
Fuseli’s artworks were surrounded around depictions like the supernatural, exaggerations, sexual symbolism, and dream worlds.
Many of his artworks such as The Nightmare, directly portrayed supernatural subjects that were far beyond nature’s reality.
Fuseli’s adoration of women characters is seen throughout his paintings wherein he depicts mysterious erotic images of women.
He derived his painting inspirations from prominent works of Michelangelo and Monte Cavallo’s marble statues.
Fuseli skillfully mastered the use of lighting and shadow in his paintings that portrayed deep intensity, as opposed to the Neoclassical school of thought.
His art dealt with the experiences of the senses rather than with the objective world.
Fuseli is considered the godfather of the twentieth-century Surrealist movement
Read More: Famous Renaissance Artists That Ruled Over The Art World.
These artists of romanticism opened a new world where an artist can express his feelings on canvas and create art that they believed in.
Their efforts were purely to create art that every common man could relate to, which focuses not on perfection but on the intent behind the art.
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Heya Art Lovers,
If I have missed any of your favorite romanticism artists or if we have missed any information that you wish us to add, please let us know in the comment section below.
All facts and figures stated above are from official sources.
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