Tuesday, 16 February 2010


At its peak, the enlightenment movement was a philosophical movement of the 18th century which stressed reasoning over blind faith and obedience, thus in contrast with much of the religious and political order of the day, as well as encouraging scientific thinking at the same time. 

In Immanuel Kant's book 'Kant's critique of pure reason' he describes what the meaning of The Enlightenment is... 

'Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity, immaturity is the inability to use one's understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but it in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. Supere Aude! (Dare to know). Have courage to use your own understanding!' 

Kant's critique of pure reason
Author:Theodor W. Tiedemann, Adorno 
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Date: 2001 

Monday, 15 February 2010

William Blake

Even though William Blake was a great poet, i am going to study his paintings.. He was pretty unknown during his life, but he now considered as having a leading role during the romantic age.

During this time not only did he pursue poetry and has been described as the greatest artist Britain has ever had,  but he was also a keen artist.. 

In the book 'Neoclassicism and Romanticism 1750 - 1850' there is a quotation from Mona Wilson's book 'The Life of William Blake'. The quotation describes how Blake was influenced before drawing these images.. 

William Blake's (1757-1827) Visionary Portraits

'William Blake, from earliest childhood, possessed the gift of spiritual vision. At the age of four, he saw the face of God pressed against the pane of his window, and after the death of his brother, Robert, he often conversed with his spirit and was instructed by him in a new method of relief etching. Blake's visions, like those of Messerschmidt, ere directly relevant to his art. His imagination presented to him the faces and figures of his ghostly visitors in the sharply contoured, strangely stylized forms in which he drew them. What other artists achieved through a conscious effort of arrangement and design, Blake recieved ready-made.'

Even though Blake rarely ventured away from his home, let alone London itself, it shows his use of imagination and emotion to create images as beautiful as these..  I found that his poems are not as Romantic compared to to other poets, yet he is seen as an influential individual who had a big part to play in the Romanticism movement.

Blake's work has a lot of religious information within it, obviously the image above is showing God creating the world. In Carol Rumens article named, 'The Romantic poets: The Human Image and The Divine Image by William Blake'. 

As a thinker, Blake was influenced by Emmanuel Swedenborg, the Swedish scientist, inventor, philosopher and theologian who was, perhaps, the supreme genius of contraries. Coincidentally (no doubt) 1757, the poet's birth-year, was the very year predicted by Swedenborg for Christ's Second Coming. He was another visionary, who claimed to have visited Heaven where he had met the souls of Jews, Muslims and pagans as well as Christians. Fundamental to his religious teaching was the belief that the love of God and one's neighbour mattered more than creed. He also claimed that everything in the natural world had a spiritual counterpart.


Neoclassicism and Romanticism 1750 - 1850 
Lorenz Eitner - Stanford University 
Prentice - Hall International, INC., London 

The Romantic poets: The human image, and the divine image by William Blake
Carol Rumens
The Guardian 

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Auguste Rodin

Rodin was the most celebrated sculptor of the 19th century, he was the creator of a new form of sculpture. The work would be completed, but he used a variant Michaelangelo's unfinished figures.. Giving some pieces a waxy finish on parts and leaving other parts in its original state, or keeping some of the figure in the block it was made from.. 

His influence was through his expression of emotion and movement, how he used symbolism and distortion and how he took great care when modeling.  He was a product of the Romanticism movement and a forerunner for modern art.. 

The Thinker 

The Kiss

I feel that he is an important figure in the movement of Romanticism because he created new techniques for sculpting, also he used his imagination to create a world that exceeded reality and everyday existence. Thinking out side the box led to his work influencing and opening new doors for upcoming sculptors, instead of producing these mundane statues and sculptors seen before Rodin, they could now use their imaginations and emotions to let loose and realize their potential.. 


One of my most favourite artiest of all time is Turner. now understanding more about the Romanticism movement, i have noticed how Romantic turners painting were

The Shipwreck, William Turner, 1805 oil canvus

this is one of the many examples how Turner had put his emotions into his painting, in most of his painting Turner uses the sea, i believe the reason why is because sea itself can be connected with emotion from calm waves to a storm.

Rain, Steam, and Speed — The Great Western Railway
here is a great example of the strong brush strokes that turner uses to express his emotion, he uses bold colours stand out,

The Junction of the Thames and the Medway

this painting creates a dramatic effect to the viewer, the dark tones and shades used in this painting bring out a sense of mystery or the storm in coming or leaving

Turner shows his emotion in his paintings by the strong brush techniques and movement of the paint that can be seen in the painting, he also creates a sense of depth and tonality to capture his views into his paintings



Romanticism began really in the 1770's in both Germany and England, and by 1820's it had reached much of Europe..

Romanticism brought the end to the more classical forms, and influenced more emotional themes, it was a revolt against the Neoclassicism which brought such things as balance, order and idealization.. Before Romanticism all art forms were set in their ways in similar fashion..

Romanticism brought a new lease of life to artists, it gave them imagination, freedom and spontaneity... There were now no rules in how they produced their art.. It was a movement that encouraged people to be individuals, not like robots that the governments could control.. Nature, Individualism and emotions were the three key things that were encouraged..

Artists now were free to do things they had never done before.. Many romantic techniques were formed to give the viewer feelings towards work...

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Lecture 1: Getting started

So after todays lecture and a little group work, im still slightly fuzzy on what we are supposed to be doing... I know we have split the nine points up and given ourselves jobs to do... I hope tonight some research will give me a greater idea about whats going on


What is Romanticism?

Romanticism was a movement that started in the 1770's in German, France and England by a group called the Romantics, early Romantics had the intention of changing the world and society. Romanticism was one of the many branches that was born from the Age of Enlightenment period which has been said to have started by a small group that slowly grow in size an spread around the world but the Romanticism movement didn't have the same views of the Age of Enlightenment. when Enlightenment was at its full swing people had a strong belief in the law of science and logic of maths and everything was based on reason. The Romantics started rejecting the idea of the the Enlightenment and started focusing on colour, emotion, individuality and nature but the movement did not only inspire those with artistic skills but those with musical ,mainly opera, theatre and literature skills, as well they would show their emotion and imagination through their creative writing and skills. around this time. Romanticism was the voice of freedom, fears, hopes and tragedies in the 1770 onwards, and also inspired many others movements such as Nationalism, which inspired tragic events such as the French revolution, it also inspired leaders and political movements to throw away there cold logic of 'reason ofscience' to more of a focus improving every thing.