French Romanticism Analysis
Romanticism is a form of art that contains many types. It started in the late 18th century inside Europe. Romanticism had a certain influence on politics. In order to pursue people’s ideal life, they took their weapon and had an uprising. And also, except for the influence on politics, it also had impacts on history and educational ideas. These things had big changes. Romanticism stresses beauty and freedom. So in the period of romanticism, the mind of people changed, people’s appreciation of beauty changed too. The main forms in romanticism are music, art, and literature.
French romanticism appears first in art and then in music. French romanticism developed late in literature. After few years of the French Revolution and Napoleon suffered a defeat the last time in his life, the wave of romanticism began to spread in France. People started to quote drawing, write music, write articles etc. to express what they hope and what they want in their mind. At that time, these artworks had been called: works of art in the peered of romanticism. And also, at that time, different artists have their own style, but this didn’t show a mess, this can only explain that in France, romanticism has no single forms. So my definition of French romanticism is: diversify and colorful.
The first work I’m going to introduce is called “Liberty leading the people”. The work was inspired by the French Revolution in July 1830. So it has another name called “27th July 1830”. First, let’s take a look at the background of the painting. In the year of 1815, an uprising happened in France. People overthrew Napoleon. In 1830, the new successor, Charles X, had tried to consolidate the dynasty. But at that time, people are not satisfied with life, they wanted to revolt. At that point, all Paris people knew this message, they all took their weapon and fought for the overthrow of the Bourbons. Luckily, they succeeded. There was the main person in this revolt, it’s a woman, she held the France flag upon his head. What an exciting moment it was at that time! However, when she tried to put the flag on the bridge near the Notre Dame de Paris. She had been shot down by gun. When the artist saw this picture, he was really angry. In order to commemorate this revolt, he drew this famous painting. And this is the background of the painting.
This painting is the most connotation artwork in artist’s life. Inside this famous artwork, there are many people that symbolize different levels in the human world. The girl in the middle is the most important part in the whole work. Around the girl, there are a large amount of people, some with guns, some kneeling on the floor, some with machete. The Notre Dame de Paris not far away is like a floating illusion. In the sky, there is thick black smoke. This girl held the flag of France high above her head. Beside her, there are lots of insurrectionists.
We could see a man who is kneeling on the floor, he is wearing a red scarves on his head, blue shirt, we can also see a little white under his shirt. Fist, what I want to say is we can discovered his clothes’ colour is the same as the France flag. And through my observation, I found out this picture use red, white and blue for the main colour for this work of art, to show us a vivd picture. Next, what we need to observe about is the girl that is holding the national flag high. She had a dominate position in this work of art. Because this painting is a real event in the history, and this is very real, so we will be able, as it were, to see , to hear and to feel their action in the history. And make us easy to understand the great events of the 18th century in France.
Why I can judge this painting is romantic because by understanding the background of this painting, and the content inside history, and also by analyzing the painting, we can discover the truth of romanticism, and what the people’s hopes are. So we can know that this is a romanticism painting.
This painting is the same author as the one on the page before. We still have to get to the background of the painting. In 1822, Turkey captured the Greek island of Theo. Robbed the island completely. It is obvious that these people in Turkey had angered all the people of Europe. There was a feeling of discontent. Of course, the author of the painting also knew about it. And we all know that painters like to record bits and pieces of life. Then Delacroix likes to record history. He expressed his anger at the Turkish invaders and drew the picture. So this is the historical background.
Delacroix is one of the greatest artists in the world. And most of his paintings are recording some of Europe’s famous historical events. While we understand the background of the painting, let’s take a look at the painting. We can see that some people’s eyes are full of despair, some people lie to the ground, and we can even see people sitting on the ground not far behind. But they are all Greek people. They were in great pain and despair. They could not struggle, but could only be stepped on by the invaders. There was no hope in their faces, no light in their eyes, and it was miserable. Even the sky was gloomy by the big matter. This is a tragedy in history. We can also see on the right the Turkish invader riding a horse trying to kick off the woman that was holding him. The smoke of war made everything grey. This is a human tragedy. Since we know that this is a real event, that is to say, the painting can reflect the true events of the time, and this style confirms that the painting is a Romantic work.
Then came the romantic music. The first is Hector Berlioz’s’ Symphony of Fantasy. This is a symphony written by Berlioz in 1830. This piece of music is inspired by the author’s real life. The author’s inspiration for all the movements comes mainly from the actress in one of the play. Of course, the play was famous during the Romantic period and was a favourite of the time. Later, the Symphony of Fantasy written by Berlioz became a symbol of romanticism. The symphony is so popular in France that it is highly regarded. Someone said that“I accept that this symphony is of an almost inconceivable strangeness and that the schoolmasters will no doubt pronounce an anathema on these profanations of the ‘truly beautiful’. But for anyone who isn’t too concerned about the rules I believe that M. Berlioz if he carries on in the way he has begun, will one day be worthy to take his place beside Beethoven.”(Symphony guide: Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie,August 19, 2014)
We all know that the symphony created by Berlioz was inspired by an actress, so how did Berlioz get to know the actress, mainly because he likes to appreciate and watch plays, As he watched a Shakespeare’s comedy, it was the actress Harriet Smithsonian who won his attention. It can be said that the content of the symphony is similar to that drama. The music is divided into five movements, the story of each piece is linked together. The whole story is about a man who finds someone he thinks he loves at a dance, but he suspects that his lover betrayed him, so he kills his lover and puts himself on the guillotine. Finally, he found himself at his own funeral. He saw crazy ghosts and horrible women dancing out of control. In this way, the story is over.
The creation of Berlioz changed the history of music. The history of music adds a romantic style, which is completely different from the past. If we observe the details of this symphony, to understand the source of inspiration, to understand the story of music, we can use it as a reference to history. The symphony begins with nervous and becomes lyrical in the second movement. In the third movement, the atmosphere becomes repressed, the fourth movement becomes hasty, and the fifth becomes horrific. The change in emotion is evident, which helps us analyze music. So lyric individual characteristics become an important feature of romantic music.
Charles Camille Saint-Sant French composer and keyboard player. His works have an influence on the French music world. The important works include Animal Carnival, Skeleton Dance, Samson and Delilah, and so on.
The famous symphony is by Charles, another Romantic musician after Berlioz. But by comparison, Charles’s work was freer. It’s hard to understand, but it’s interesting to go into detail in his works.
The symphony begins in a short, slow form, but followed by lyricism and grace. But slowly become terrible, it seems to be unsatisfied with the world. Everywhere is full of death. Everything was struggling and becoming crazy. No one can control it. The symphony ends in this crazy form. Although this form is difficult to understand, but it is one of the representative works of romanticism. For it is free, and has its own thoughts. It doesn’t care about others, it just wants its own freedom. So that’s why this symphony is coming to us in this form.
We know that romanticism is a period that pursuit beauty and freedom. But as we mentioned earlier, in romantic periods, everyone has their own unique aesthetic. So there is no single form of romanticism, it is rich and colorful. Because Charles in the Romantic period showed unique, so he won in the Romantic period based on the status.
His works are well at expression in every important place. Nowadays, people may understand romanticism as lyrical, full of music, beautiful and quiet. But when you investigate at romanticism, you will find that romanticism is not just a small part of the characteristics, it also has a few of its biggest characteristics: true, rich, human. These features are reflected in Charles’ works one after another. Charles showed not only the essence of romanticism, but also the liberation of human nature. This is my highest evaluation for Charles.
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