There’s Nothing Romantic about Romanticism…or is there? part 2

Continuing from part one

In Delacroix’s ‘Liberty Leading the People‘ 1830, we see an emotional approach.  One of the main differences between Classicism and Romanticism is that Romanticism shows a way of feeling and Classicism is a way of thought.

Liberty leading the people delacroix
Liberty leading the people delacroix

This painting is was used as part of a propaganda campaign regarding the Revolution.  I think that it is in some ways similiar to Jacques Louis David’s ‘Oath of the Horatii’, as it calls the country’s people to arms.  But the main difference between the way that the artist’s do this lies in David’s use of patriotism, duty and allegiance and the more emotional cry of hope and freedom from Delacroix: the possibility of overcoming injustice.

Oath_of_the_Horatii Jaques Louis David

Oath_of_the_Horatii Jaques Louis David

By the use of emotional messages in his paintings, Delacroix manages to unify the peasants with hope and stirs within them, the longing for freedom.

The-Sheepfold,-Moonlight,-1856-60 Millet
The-Sheepfold,-Moonlight,-1856-60 Millet

Jean Francois Millet, son of a peasant farmer (1814 – 1875) painted rustic scenes, endowing with majesty the often overlooked aspects of nature.  He never achieved popularity in his own lifetime.  He had a revulsion for frivolity and ‘told it like it was’.  Unfortunately for him, the public preferred the artiface of nature, not the nitty gritty: the wheelbarrows, peasants tending their flocks or field workers.  Millet’s emotional response seems to have come from his environment.  The abandoned plough in ‘Sheep Fold’ indicates the frustration that man feels when the seasons conspire against him, and also symbolises the life and death cycle that we are all part of.

Continued tomorrow

Millet galllery

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