John Singleton Copley, an American artist of the Romantic period, was inspired by an event that took place in Havana, Cuba in 1749. The image depicts the rescue of a 14-year-old orphan shipmate who was attacked by a shark while swimming in the ocean.
Beginning of French Revolution
The traditional monarchy who had ruled France for three centuries collapsed in three years, giving rise to the French Republic until Napoleon declared himself emperor in 1804.
A Vindication of the Rights of Women- Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft was the first advocate for women's rights. She fought for the education and intelligence of women as Rousseau called them "weak and artificial". Furthermore, she believed that rationality and reason formed the basis of human rights.
Death of Marat, Jacques-Louis David
French Romantic artist Jacques-Louis David painted this image at the Height of the Reign of Terror during the dramatic increase of the French Revolution. The image is a memoir to his friend Jean Marat, The Murdered Publisher. They were both part of the Jacobins political party that would become the most intense of the rebel factions. The positioning of Marat in the tub is a reference to Michelangelo’s La Pieta, as well as the stab wounds and the knife on the floor.
Fishermen at Sea, JMW Turner
JMW Turner , an English Romantic Artist, was known for his paintings of light in nature and his fascination with the ocean. "Fisherman at Sea" was his first painting ever exhibited; he was 21 years old. His image is representational of God’s presence embodied in nature and the evidence of his existence.
Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems- Wordsworth and Coleridge
William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge publish Lyrical Ballads in 1798. This landmark book was considered to the beginning of the English Literature Romantic Movement. In contrast to the rigid English language, Wordsworth and Coleridge experimented with everyday language that could be understood by even the common people. One of the famous poems was "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner".
Napoleon crowns himself Emperor of France
In order to fulfil his dreans of conquest in Europe, Napoleon crowned himself emperor.
Simón Bolivar begins a series of South American rebellions against Spain
Known as “Él Libertador” across South America, Simón Bolivar helped to sow the seeds of rebellion and independence in many countries in the northern parts of South America.
Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage- Lord Byron
This was one of the greatest narrative poems describing a man going through worldly struggles and compromised with pleasure and material forms of wealth. Lord Byron often identified with his own characters by adding traits such as envy, rebelliousness, and rationalism. Childe means a young man who is a candidate to become a knight.
The United States Declares War on Great Britain
The War of 1812 began as a result of American rights being infringed upon by the British. Though there was no clear victor, Americans felt a sudden burst of nationalism that lead to the American Romantic Period.
Allied British, Dutch, and German forces defeat Napoleon at Waterloo
In response to the growing influence and threat of Napoleon, the British, Dutch, and German forces ambushed Napoleon at Waterloo and dealt him a crushing defeat.
Frankenstein- Mary Shelley
Considered one of the earliest works of science fiction, Shelley writes about a scientist who creates life and is scared of what he invented. The novel has Romantic and gothic elements and truly revolutionized the period. To this day, Frankenstein has had an effect on horror stories and movies.
Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, Caspar David Friedrich
German artist Caspar David Friedrich conveys the great potential and possibility of man among nature. In the image, the man has climbed high and conquered much, only to see that there are infinite vistas still out there, shrouded in a fog that hides what lies beyond.
The Raft of Medusa, Theodore Gericault
Theodore Gericault, an influential French artist, is known for his greatest work,The Raft of Medusa. The ship, Medusa, sets sail with three other ships given to the French by the British as a show of good faith to the reinstated French King, Louis XVIII. The ship stuck close to the African shoreline to outpace the other ships but was too close and hit the sandbar. The shipmates escaped on a raft that severed from the ship and were lost at sea for two weeks. Represents social criticism.
Carl Maria von Weber writes Konzertstück
Composed for piano and orchestra, the four movements describe a medieval lady's longing for her absent knight, her agonized fears for his safety, the excitement of his impending return, and the joys of reunion and love. This musical representation of emotion and story are extremely important components of the Romantic style of music.
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9
Considred one of Beethoven's greatest works, Symphony 9 is notable not only for its length and complexity, but for the fact that he introduced vocal soloists and a chorus into the final movement, as if the purely instrumental form of the classical symphony could not express all that he felt.
The Last of the Mohicans-James Fenimore Cooper
The Last of the Mohicans is a classic novel published in 1826 as the second book to the Leatherstocking Tales series. The story took place during the French and Indian War, telling a tale about Native Americans and their tribes allying with the French or British. The novel became very popular in England and is commonly read in American classes.
The Apotheosis of Homer- Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres
The Apotheosis of Homer by Ingres is considered to be one of the great masterpieces of the Romantic Period. Figures from Greek, Roman and modern times - such as Mozart, Voltaire, Dante, and Shakespeare - are symmetrically centered in front of a Greek temple, to pay homage to Homer. Homer is in the middle with Iliad and Odyssey, two of Homer's greatest works, at his feet. This painting in particular uses the technique of fresco, which is the use of plaster.
Grand Canyon of the Yellowston, Thomas Moran, 1827
Thomas Moran and other American landscape painters were inspired by their natural surroundings and often painted outdoors. Moran was a part of the Hayden Geological Survey of 1871 team, where he documented over 30 different sites. His paintings helped inspire congress to create the Yellowstone region as the first National Park in 1872, in order to preserve the most beautiful parts of the country’s wilderness.
An American Dictionary of English Language- Noah Webster
Even at 70 years old, Noah Webster published one of the first dictionarys for the English langauge. This particular version contained 70,000 entries, more than the 58,000 entires of one previous dictionary. The dictionary did not sell well because it was relatively expensive and was not bound properly.
Liberty Leading the People, Eugene Delacroix
Eugene Delacroix, a French Romantic artist, used this painting as a political poster for the Revolution during 1830. In the image he depicts people celebrating the day that people rose and fought for their victory. It is often referred to as the first political work of modern painting. The artist was a member of the National Guard, and painted an image of himself on the left. He is holding a rifle and wearing a top hat.
Schumann writes Carnaval, Op. 9
One of his most famous works, Carnaval latently expresses Schumann's love for two women through a collection of short piano solo pieces manifestly aboud a masquerade at Carnaval.
The Voyage of Life, Childhood, Thomas Cole
Painted by the American landscape artist Cole, The Voyage of Life series depicts four stages of a man’s life and serves as a Christian allegory set in a Romantic backdrop. This image,Childhood, is the first of four paintings representing birth when the baby exits the dark canal and begins his new life.
Violin Concerto in E Minor, Opus 64-Felix Mendelssohn
In this piece, Mendelssohn wrote that a single bassoon is to hold one note of the final chord of the first movement, leading immediately into the middle movement. This lack of pause between the first and middle movement is an important structural principle of the Romantic style.
Liszt’s Faust Symphony
This three movement symphony is a musical portrait of the three main characters on Goethe’s Faust. This painting and expression of each character through music, and use of outside influence is representative of a Romantic-style piece. The use of Germanic folklore in the book also is representative of the influence of nationalism and individuality that was important to Romantic composers.
Symphony No. 4 in F Minor by Tchaikovsky premieres
In addition to the length of the symphony, Tchaikovsky’s expression of contrasting emotion giving Fate musical character and the symphony being an expression of the conflicting emotion in his life is representative of the creativity and emotion behind pieces of the Romantic era, differentiating them from pieces of the Classical era.