The Romantic movement is characterized by artistic rebellion and is impossible to categorize. It was a movement against the established norm and does not have one set style or form. Artists expanded the range of their subject matter, creating new genres such as Orientalism. Emotion over reason was also very important, and artists developed their own innovative styles to express these newfangled attitudes. Art became a lot more moody- instead of fixed artistic modes, artists were now celebrating the mysterious, irrational, rebellious, emotional, and dark. Formal rules were transcended in order to express these images and give the artist a role as the egotistic creator and spiritual journeyman.
Styles varied. Goya's "Saturn Eating Cronus" is a very dark piece, even disturbing. It is almost abstract, with a lot of negative space and big, undefined areas of paint. In contrast, John Constable's "The Salisbury Cathedral" is a little more formal. However, the impressionistic style and ethereal, moody background make it distinctively romantic.
Artists began to use nature differently. Instead of using nature as simply a background, they began to play with the unpredictable, unstable, and wild nature of earth's atmospheric activity.
Portraiture also changed, becoming a way to express a wide range of emotional and psychological activity.