Critique how artists transform landscapes into Romantic subjects. Define the style Romanticism and then choose works of art that represent the Romantic style of painting. Analyze the formal elements and message of the work and how the artist(s) capture romantic ideologies in the works that you chose. Include the ideas the landscapes embody and how artists represent those ideas. Use at least 3 examples in your answer. Your response should average between 2-4 pages and include a brief introduction, the body of the essay and a brief conclusion. Use your textbook and PowerPoint notes to complete the essay. You should not go to outside sources. If you use a direct quote from the text make sure you cite the page.
Romantic Landscape Painting
Romanticism was a cultural movement that began in Europe. It was to some extent a reaction to the industrial revolution that took place during the same period. It is important to note the movement affected several philosophical thinking, music, art, and literature. On art, it came up with romantic art which focused on feelings, emotions, and moods of all kind including imagination, fervor, spirituality and mystery. One of the most important type or romantic art that took centre stage during the period is landscape art or painting, which is the depiction of natural scenery in art (Tharaud, 2020). Landscape paintings capture valleys, water bodies, forests, mountains, and may or not comprise man structured as well as people. According to study conducted by Harvey (2017), landscape painting was placed low in its scale of value; however, it took prestige and prominence in the romantic period. This essay, therefore, analyzes the formal elements and message of landscape works during romanticism and how the artists capture romantic ideologies in their works.
The Savage State
Title: The Savage State
Name: Thomas Cole
One of the landscapes painting that has been used for this assignment is the savage state. Painting is dominated by a vast and swirling wilderness. It brings the perfect feeling of liberty where lone individual is seen walking naked braving the world on his own. It symbolizes a level of freedom within nature that is a rare to see today. While it demonstrates a good relationship between man and nature, it presents a pre-agricultural era and hunter gathering societies particularly when man had little power over nature. It is observed that there are no interactions, buildings and any form of industrialization (Barrett & Cao, 2017). One of the elements of arts that the artist has used is dim light. Notably, dim lighting subdues a painting which narrows the tone. It is important to note that the subtle lighting is a pertinent choice for a work of art that explores the thought of hope. This painting was done during the time of industrialization where societies were developing; however, in this case, there is no sign of civilization. The author uses the diffused light to tell viewers that there is hope in future. Virtually imaginative by the immeasurable desiderata of settled society, the subject civilization is virtually impossible to differentiate from nature.
The Arcadian or Pastoral State
Title: The Arcadian or Pastoral State
Name: Thomas Cole
This is the painting made by Thomas Cole after the Savage State. In this painting, the artist uses an element of art which is color again. Unlike, Savage State, here, he shifts the tone of color from dark, lonely, and brooding, to light, hopeful, and effervescent. Colored lighting evokes an explicit mood: it impacts the painting entirely just as a dyed filter saturates a photograph. This is an indication of hope and the feeling of entitlement (Barrett & Cao, 2017). The painting, unlike, the previous one has several people and a building. A smoke is seen visible coming from the building. Notably, the Arcadian or Pastoral State was painted after the savage state to demonstrate how civilization occurs in humankind. In the image, people are well dressed, and interact. The smoke is also a symbol of production, a key factor during industrial revolution. As evidenced in the picture and compared with the prevision one, the man now, cultivates small gardens, looks after his small flocks of animals, and even improves his surroundings by building and constructing roads, clothing, boats, and what appears to be a small town of wooden houses.
View of Niagara Falls
Title: View of Niagara Falls
Name: Thomas Cole
Depicting the magnificence of the American landscape, the Thomas Cole did not care about the scenic overlooks, hotels, and factories that colonized the area in early 19th century. Instead, the artist expressed his concern about the environmental impact of gluttonous industrialism, something that brought the feeling and attachment to the nature; especially about the environment was being damaged. One of the elements that the artist has used is color. From the close view Niagara Falls looks like it is burning. The artist was sending a message to the world about the effects of industrialization that was slowly interfering with the nature. Barrett and Cao. (2017) state that “but their diminished presence in scale and number reinforces the false idea of the “vanishing Indian” and is meant to signal impending transformation rather than acknowledge their stolen sovereignty” Another element of art that has been employed in this case is space. Cole has put the Niagara Falls close to viewers for enthusiastic view by the audience.
Barrett, R., & Cao, M. (2017). Landscape in American History: Pasts, Presents, and Futures. American Art, 31(2), 32-34.
Harvey, S. C. (2017). Reading the” Book of Nature”: Thomas Cole and the British Romantics.
Tharaud, J. (2020). 1. Thomas Cole and the Landscape of Evangelical Print. In Apocalyptic Geographies (pp. 29-66). Princeton University Press.