The transition from Neoclassicism to Romanticism was manifested in a shift in emphasis from reason to feeling, from calculation to intuition, and from objective nature to subjective emotion. Artists began to depict feelings and emotion rather than being thinkers. The artwork started to more dark, mythological, irrational, and fictional.
The focus was moved from the realistic views of life to the artist’s emotion. Artwork also focused more on the belief in superstition and creative stories; instead of being based off of real events which were backed by science or some kind of ground. Also, we see women being viewed as sensual in the Romantic art; she signified mystery and lust. We also see women’s breast being uncovered in unrealistic scenes. As great example of this is Eugene Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People. In this piece there is a woman holding up a flag, leading an army of men with her breasts exposed.
Romanticism also portrayed dark and dramatic scenes. These conveyed a sort of mystery; artist depicted many different objects, animals, and humans that would symbolize an emotion and belief. Something that is very interesting to me is the X-shape in many compositions from this time. Theodore Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa is a great example of this. The x-shape within the composition allows the viewers eyes to continue throughout the piece without end. One can look at all sides and be driven to look at each corner of the painting.
Figures became very dramatic through shading. Artists in this era now have a very dark background and have a light subject matter or figure- which creates this high contrast.