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Introduction To Romanticism

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In this Essay, I would like to talk about how Romantic landscape, as a form of ideology is being resurrected through the modern cinema, specially looking at the apocalyptic genre which shares a lot of similarity with Romantic landscape paintings. I will explore the topic by looking at the very history and essential ideology of Romanticism and the cause of its disappearance. Most importantly I will state out how the ideology is being revived under the transformation of cinema.

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In eighteenth centuries, the arrival of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution greatly contributed transition of society. Romanticism risen as an art movement to engage to the sensation of Classicalism formality, the conflict between rationality and emotions in both art and philosophy thoughts.

Romanticisms, according to New Fontana dictionary of modern thought (Bullock, Trombley and Lawrie, 2000, pp.762-763.) … In the art and philosophy, it is considered a rebel against Neo-Classicalism.

It redirects our focus back our surroundings, the unexplored of human mental state. A sense of imagination created by artists, to trigger the chemical and biological reaction almost like Stendhal syndrome (Mentalfloss.com, 2018) [1] toward the audience while perceiving an artwork. Both rationality and ideology can be perceived from the image. Hence, the romanticism remains an essential knowledge in modern days because of its investigation of psychological impact and the power of expression that is supported by nihilism. As a result, the artform follows the pleasure principle suggested by Edmund Burke who discussed the natures of substances that cause us to encountering visual desire – rather than the pleasure stimulated by the beauty, it is the ecstasy, even terror produced by the epic, enigmatic or unfamiliar. (Brown, 2010 p.128).

In response to Neo-Classicalism which appreciating the sophisticated craftsmanship and genre of “high art”, which is opposed by the movement. Instead, it underlines the individuality and sentimentality by remarking the importance of audience’s perception of their subjective value by their personality, astonishment, poignancy, passion and sentiment. The primacy of the imagination is vital for how subjects and theories are portrayed through artworks.

The romantic arts portrayed the animated nature and its organic relation to humanity, the influence of inner depth from the radiant imagination to evoke deep emotion as its belief stated the material world is the creation of divinity and such is the God’s manifestation and self-expression.

However, the darker side Romanticism under the influence by Gothic culture, quoted by Charles Baudelaire, Salan de 1859 “Romanticism is a grace, celestial or infernal, that bestows us enteral stigma.” (Krämer and Borgards, 2012 p.14), is more about the seclusion and despondency, relating to hallucination, madness or bizarre as a form of redemption of perception. Therefore, in the traditional Romanticism, the main theme will be fantasy, myth and picturesque, known as the “naturally” framing create a “picture” before it is even painted. Its follower Sir Uvedale Price defined the topmost foundation of picturesque, were “roughness and of sudden variation joined to that irregularity” (Brown, 2010 p.127). In comparison, Dark Romanticism are the Faustian[2] and Promethean… Both are disaffected and fictitious. Contributing to the vision of “brave new world” or WELTANSCHAUNG[3] which alter the main awareness and purpose of the artist, and the viewer’s and his role in his universe.

Victor Hugo (1876-1885) who is an enthusiastic poet and drawing artist as a key figure of the romantic period. He lay the manifesto of Romanticism in the preface of his play Cornwall (1827), which is defined by objective feature:

Firstly, Artist’s work should be examined in purely in the perspective of the quality of the work itself, but not its directed opinions.

The quality is decided upon how much “originality” by the artist himself as he is meant to recreate reality in his vision rather than making a reproduction. It is also vital to embed the work with viewpoint or narrative of history. More importantly, the artwork should be unique, in the sagacity of its own characteristic.

Lastly, the work’s fate, successful or not, reputation is not the concern of artist. (Fram-Cohen, 2017) ,(Bartleby.com, 2017) In another word “When art expresses most completely the properties of art”, the romanticism is a presence.

31 August 2020

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