19th Century: Romanticism and Realism
This is such a fascinating period of art history. The French revolution of 1789 ushered in a new era. Romanticism emerged from a desire for freedom. The monarchy was overthrown, making space for the likes of Napoleon Bonaparte. There was a renewed interest in the Medieval and a notion of the “sublime”- feelings of awe mixed with terror. It is the idea that pain or fear evoke the most intense human emotions and that these emotions can be thrilling.
It was felt that the path to freedom was through imagination rather reason. This was in stark contrast to the Neoclassical which championed reason and the scientific process.