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PKI Teaching Guide

Page 15 of 36

Romanticism

Romanticism was a widespread artistic movement that started in the eighteenth century and flourished in the nineteenth. Some of the major figures were: the English poets William Blake, Lord Byron, John Keats, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Shelley; the German writers Johann Goethe and Friedrich Schlegal; and painters Caspar David Friedrich, J.W.M. Turner, Jean-François Millet, Eugène Delacroix and John Constable, among many others.

Romanticism was a reaction against the formalized and refined forms of Classicism. Romanticism valued the individual and was revolutionary, attacking the established social and artistic orders of the day. Romanticism was more concerned with the subjective experience of the individual, giving great importance to mood, emotion and transitory impressions. Romantic artists found beauty in nature and even in subjects that would have been considered grotesque, uncivilized or inappropriate subjects for art in the previous era. Where the Classicists valued orderly buildings, cultivated landscapes and subjects of great significance from history, often Roman or Greek, the Romantics valued rocky crags in mountains, rushing torrents and wild forests and moments of great emotion and intensity.

In art, there is a great variety of romantic painting. Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Children is a grotesque portrayal of the Greek myth, whereas Millet painted sensitive studies of toiling peasants. Turner’s landscapes are full of colour, movement and more attention to mood than detailed representation. Hence, it is difficult to identify a specific Romantic style of painting. What defines it is the approach.

5.

Scene from documentary – VALUE OF FIELD WORKS

EXPLAINED

In this section of the documentary, we learn about Kane’s field notes and why they are important to consider in a separate way from the book published under Kane’s name - Wandering of an Artist. This excerpt is also useful to play in the context of sections 10 and 12.

6.

Scene from documentary – GEORGE CATLIN S INFLUENCE

In this section of the documentary we are introduced to the George Catlin, the American painter whose journey into the west in the 1830’s was likely a model for Paul Kane.

6a. - Video - Catlin’s Exhibition

From Field to Studio: The art of Paul Kane

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