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Neo-Romanticism

633 artworks, 2 artists
Neo-romanticism is an art movement which arose in France at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries and spread to Europe, America and Russia. In a well-fed and comfortable society, an aversion to the refined, naturalistic, and truthful bourgeois aesthetics appeared. People felt an urgent need for the revival of such moral values as truth, duty, honour, and dignity. Under the influence of the philosophy of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, a cult of a strong personality, a creator of justice and a master of life, appeared. Art ceased to lead the viewer into a fictional world, the goal was to encourage a person to live an active, eventful life, not to rely on the power of a fictional character or element. Why does man need a hero if everyone can become a hero? Neo-romanticists of the late nineteenth century called for abandoning the pettiness of everyday life, everyday hustle and bustle and appreciate the attractiveness of danger, travel and adventure. Literature, painting, and other areas of the neo-romanticist art contain an element of anticipation of changes and cataclysms of the first half of the 20th century.

In painting, neo-romanticism manifested itself in saturated colours and intense shades, thus the likelihood of image was minimized. Artists avoided realism, they used stylization, flat composition, blurry shapes and contours. The subjects of the neo-romanticist paintings contained the elements of struggle, danger, mysterious events. The subject was endowed with a strong character, energy and a desire to change the surrounding reality. Mythological and religious themes became unpopular in genre painting, giving way to heroic manifestations in society. Landscape painters sought to get away from direct and realistic images of nature, using contrasts of sunset and storm views. Portraits were dedicated not so much to the man himself as to one’s the image and personality.

The subjects of the neo-romanticist artworks were distinguished by their indomitable and strong character, emphasizing loneliness and self-sufficiency. Artists sought to convey the acuity of the subject’s feelings, emotional expression, irrationality of actions, closeness to nature, and what is commonly called “brutality” through visual means. One way to evoke a sense of phantasmagoria in the viewer was to introduce exotic elements into the picture: images of bright tropical plants or landscapes, souvenirs, weapons. So neo-romanticism tried to oppose the “boring” art, which gravitated to realism, gentleness, the cult of bourgeois comfort for half a century. The symbolism, modernism, and postmodernism that developed rapidly in the 20th century were based on neo-romanticism and continued the tendency of searching the illusory in the simple and ordinary.

Significant neo-romanticist paintings:
Self-Portrait with Death Playing the Fiddle”, 1872, “Dialogue”, 1890, “In the Bower” 1891 by Arnold Böcklin; “The Last of the Buffalo”, 1888, “The Landing of Columbus at San Salvador” 1893, “Golden Gate” by 1900 Albert Bierstadt; “After the Rain”, 1891, “Red Sunset on the Dnieper”, 1901 by Arkhip Kuindzhi, “The Last Rays”, 1903, “The Crimean Landscape”, 1930 by Konstantin Bogaevsky.

Neo-romanticist artists:
Arnold Böcklin, Albert Bierstadt, Konstantin Bogaevsky. The features of neo-romanticism are present in some paintings by Ilya Repin, Arkady Rylov, Nikolas Roerich.
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