Political and industrial movements of the 18th century

Topic: ArtCinema Art
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Last updated: December 2, 2020

In order to cope with the political and industrial movements of the 18th century, artists, poets, musicians and philosophers developed a new way of thinking called Romanticism.

It enabled them to create an imaginative journey in which there was a much larger scope of expression and self-discovery. Prior to Romanticism, ideals were largely based upon intellect and reason with emphasis on personal restraint, decorum and discipline. Within society, there was a set code of behaviour and morals of which people were expected to conform to. Humans were viewed as social beings with respect shown to those in hierarchical authority.There was the expectation of language to attain technical precision, with emphasis on form rather than content. Urbanized areas were valued more highly than country life, where nature was measured, controlled and cultivated. Art was intended to instruct, rather than delight the audience. With the arrival of Romanticism, however, society saw great change.

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Ideals began to be ruled by emotions, spontaneity, imagination and inspiration. There came an emphasis on individuality, free expression, originality and innovation. Isolation and solitude were preferred over social interaction, with humans being viewed as the products of nature.

There was the desire to rebel against politics and to eliminate limits and restraints.Literature was less bound by rigid codes, with the use of passionate and evocative language. The imagination was considered a pathway to spiritual truth and enlightenment. Pantheism saw nature as a powerful, untamed force to be worshipped and its rugged beauty was seen as sublime; a source of inspiration and exhilaration. The city, once valued so highly was now seen as a hub of corruption and art being used as a means of free expression rather than imitation.Romanticism was a movement in the fine arts and literature that became popular in the late 1700s and continued through most of the 1800s. It was a revolt against the classicism belief system that was previously known. Romantic writers rejected what they considered to be the excessive rationalism and lifeless literary forms of previous periods and emphasized emotions and the imagination and over logical order.

This can be seen in the following four texts; Kubla Khan, Frost at Midnight, On the Sea, and the Untitled painting. Each text deals with the conventions of Romanticism and the way in which they are presented differs according to techniques used.

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