Neoclassicism and Romanticism

 


(Neoclassicism, Romanticism and Art Styles in 19th ceytury - Art Map)



 

 



Georg Friedrich Kersting

Caspar Wolf

Ernst Ferdinand Oehme

Carl Anton Joseph Rottmann

 


see collections:


Karl Blechen


Moritz von Schwind


Carl Spitzweg


Franz Ludwig Catel

 

 




Romantic Era


 

 
 
 



Principles of Romantic Painting

 

Change as a program — this phrase alone makes it understandable why, in Romantic art, there were literature, music, painting and drawing, but no Romantic architecture or sculpture. It was Novalis who, in his Heinrich von Ofterdingen of 1802, created the erotic myth of the "blue flower," which soon burgeoned into a myth of longing and yearning for the faraway: The color blue as a symbol of the nocturnal, of tender, longing sensations. Painting might be called the medium of the unlimited; ever since Goethe's treatise on color, painters became preoccupied with the symbolic potentials of light and color, Philipp Otto Runge (1777—1810) and Turner foremost.
 

 

Caspar David Friedrich
 Monk by the Sea
 

Lending color and light a dominant role enabled Romantic painters to abandon the rational scheme of perspective in favor of an indeterminate space, suitable for conveying universal ideas. Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) created the exemplary specimen in his Monk by the Sea, and Turner, again, took the principle to an extreme that almost recalls modern abstraction.
 This explains why in many countries, especially England and Germany, landscape became the principal motif of Romantic painting. In the landscape, nature as the arena of higher powers was to be revealed.

The infinite expanse of the ocean, the sublime Alpine realm, the panorama view to the far horizon, but also "Waldeseinsamkeit", or sylvan solitude — a key term of German Romanticism coined in 1797 by Ludwig Tieck — could evoke the divine presence in elemental nature and make the observer feel it; yet they might equally express human isolation in the face of the limitless universe. Ultimately the natural environment was not depicted for its own sake, but as a mirror of internal mental and emotional processes.

Carl Gustav Carus (1789-1869), significant painter and theoretician, saw the goal of landscape pictures in rendering states of mind transparent through corresponding moods in natural life. In this sense, Runge ranked landscape as the central subject of the art of the future. Yet some Romantic landscape artists concentrated on natural history and the processes of growth and decay. This explains the key role played by landscape cycles illustrating the times of day or seasons of the year, symbols of the natural cycle. It also explains the signs of the historical past so frequently seen in Romantic landscapes: Gothic cathedrals, monasteries and castles, ruins, cairns, populated by monks, eremites and knights; and in many cases the evidence of geological study in the landscapes, which revealed the natural forces of formation and erosion - factors that could lead beyond Romanticism to a more objective and prosaic approach to landscape.
 Another characteristic motif of Romantic painting was the framed view, a landscape seen from an interior through an open window or door. Carus introduced two of his Nine Missives on Landscape Painting of 1831 with a suggestive description of an interior, making reference to Goethe's Faust (II, Act 2): "Enclosed space suits the artificial best. The universe can hardly hold the natural rest." The tension between the landscape expanse outside and the intimacy of the enclosed room conforms perfectly with Novalis's dictum of evoking an "aura of the infinite" in the finite.
 

 

Caspar David Friedrich
Woman at a Window

 In Caspar David Friedrich's Woman at a Window of 1822, the dark interior has been interpreted as standing for the constricted, earthly world which receives its light only from the window, symbolizing the supernatural world. The opposite bank of the river below the window has been said to represent the Beyond in the religious sense, while the ships' masts rising into the frame stand for a Christian recasting of the classical motif of the underground river across which Charon ferries dead souls.
 Though weighty objections have been made to this strictly theological interpretation, the isolation of man from nature in the picture remains indisputable. The figure seen from the back, leaning against the window — the artist's wife — seems imprisoned in the small, sparsely furnished room and the linear gridwork of the composition. Only the middle pane of the window is open, underscoring by contrast the glazed upper aperture that separates the brilliant expanse of sky and landscape from the somber room.

   

In Caspar David Friedrich in his Studio, Georg Friedrich Kersting (1785-1847) shows the artist leaning on a chair, musing before his easel. The painted canvas is hidden from view. What goes through Friedrich's mind in the process of painting can only be surmised from his absent gaze. The single window of the bare room is entirely closed, the lower part shuttered; only at the top is a section of grey-blue sky visible. "A painter who sees no world within himself should desist painting," Friedrich once declared. Here a painter who recreated the world out of inward vision is shown at work in a darkened room, into which a tiny excerpt of the exterior world reflects what he struggles to evoke, the glory of a higher existence as a refuge for the troubled soul.
 In the case of any movement in art which emblazons continual change on its banner, which sets out to explore unknown and uncharted territory, a common denominator from artist to artist and country to country will be difficult to find. This makes it all the more important to look at individual nations and painters, with an eye to discerning further characteristic traits of Romanticism.
 

 


Georg Friedrich Kersting

(b Gustrow, Mecklenburg, 22 Oct 1785; d Meissen, 1 July 1847). German painter. He trained at the academy of art in Copenhagen from 1805 to 1808, adopting the clarity and brilliance characteristic of the Danish school. In 1808 he went to Dresden, where he met and associated with Caspar David Friedrich and his circle. With Friedrich, Kersting went on a walking tour through the Zittau Mountains and the Riesengebirge in July 1810. Kersting was also a close friend of the painter Gerhard von Kügelgen, at whose house he was a frequent guest. His first two portraits in individual interiors (a genre he was to make his own), Caspar David Friedrich in his Studio (Hamburg, Ksthalle) and Gerhard von Kügelgen in his Studio (Karlsruhe, Staatl. Ksthalle), attracted much attention on their exhibition at the Dresden Kunstakademie in 1811. Kersting continued to produce works of this very appealing type, linking the sitter with his surroundings: they are an epitome of early Romantic interest in the spirit of the individual and point beyond the ephemeral, genre-like aspects of the subject to a symbol of the interaction between man and the space in which he works or lives. In 1812 Kersting painted The Embroiderer, The Elegant Reader and Man at a Desk (all Weimar, Schlossmus). For the last of these, Kersting used the young painter Louise Seidler as a model. Seidler was instrumental in enabling Kersting to send several of his works to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in Weimar in 1813. Goethe strongly recommended that Grand Duke Charles Augustus buy The Embroiderer, and he also encouraged further sales by promoting a lottery.
 

 
 
 


Georg Friedrich Kersting

Caspar David Friedrich in his Studio

1811
Oil on canvas, 51 x 40 cm
Nationalgalerie, Berlin

 

 


Georg Friedrich Kersting

Caspar David Friedrich in his Studio

1812
Oil on canvas, 51 x 40 cm
Nationalgalerie, Berlin

 

 


Georg Friedrich Kersting

Man Reading by Lamplight
1814
oil on canvas
Oskar Reinhart Foundation, Winterthur

 

 


Georg Friedrich Kersting

On Outpost Duty

1815
Oil on canvas, 46 x 35 cm
Nationalgalerie, Berlin

 

 


Georg Friedrich Kersting

At the Mirror

1827
Oil on canvas, 46 x 35 cm
Kunsthalle, Kiel

 

 


Georg Friedrich Kersting

Am Stickrahmen


 

   
 



German Painting


 


Joseph Anton Koch
Heroic Landscape with Rainbow

1805

Romantic artists in Germany found little in eighteenth-century painting that inspired them or could be adapted to their purposes. In Southern Germany and the Alpine provinces, the reign of Rococo and its brilliant final culmination in ecclesiastical art, lasted into the 1770s. In other regions, toward the end of the century a French-influenced neoclassicism with a certain idyllic mood and atmosphere began to spread. An example is the work of Asmus Jacob Carstens (1754-1798), who waived color to produce compositions reminiscent of Michelangelo, the themes of which occasionally had a sentimental tendency. Yet it would be mistaken to call them Romantic, since there had always been streams within European neoclassicism that avoided all academic pedantry and infused the classical vocabulary with emotion.

 For similar reasons it is likewise problematical to associate the "heroic" or "ideal" landscapes of the Tyrolean Joseph Anton Koch (1768-1839) with Romanticism. Problematical, but not impossible, for as the artist himself said, in good Romantic manner, "Let the creative soul take the separate part, the tiniest detail into itself and shape out of itself the whole, as if at one fell swoop, under a lightning flash of the idealizing imagination."
In Heroic Landscape with Rainbow, the 1815 version of which was acquired by the Munich Academy as an outstanding example of a genre usually scorned by such institutions, Koch showed that neoclassicism could seamlessly blend into Romanticism. The picture spirits the viewer into a distant, byegone realm populated by shepherds and shepherdesses. From the foreground, the eye is led by clear compositional lines over copses and lush river valleys to sunny plateaus and rugged mountains, over whose slopes spread classical and medieval towns as idyllic symbols of communal life. The rainbow, symbol of God's grace, links heaven and earth, classical and Christian forms of existence, into a harmonious, cosmic unity. Melancholy and sweet, the sense of the past binds itself to the present, as Friedrich Schiller once wrote. In contrast, Koch's Scbmadribach Vails exhibits a sharp-focus verisimilitude that would bear fruit less for Romantic art than for the naturalistic streams of the nineteenth century.
The most promising point of departure for the Romantic painters was eighteenth-century art into which aspects of the sublime had already entered, especially depictions of terrifyingly beautiful mountain vastnesses. Such pictures of a visionary and quite Romantic cast were painted by the Swiss artist Caspar Wolf (1735-1798), who had worked for a period with Loutherbourg in Paris.

 


Joseph Anton Koch
The Schmadribach Falls

1821

 

 

 


Caspar Wolf

(b Muri im Aargau, bapt 3 May 1735; d Heidelberg, 6 Oct 1783).
Swiss painter and draughtsman. His Alpine canvases and studies are the most important achievements of 18th-century Swiss landscape painting. Coming from a family of cabinet makers in the village of Muri, he went to Konstanz in 1749 to study under Johann Jakob Anton von Lenz (1701–64), the episcopal court painter. From this period date four figure studies in a sketchbook (1751). Wolf then worked as an itinerant painter in South Germany (?1753–9), being recorded in Augsburg, Munich and Passau. In 1760 he was back in Muri, painting landscapes, altarpieces and decorations on wallpaper and stoves, notably the Landscapes with Biblical Stories and Parables, the Episodes from the History of the Habsburgs, and the Legend of St Benedict (1762–3) on the wallpaper and panels of two rooms of the Schloss Horben near Muri. Predominant among the paintings and drawings of the 1760s were landscapes with wild rock formations, clearly showing his training in South German Rococo.
 

 

 






Caspar Wolf

Felslandschaft, Motiv aus dem Tobel bei Muri

 


Caspar Wolf

Felslandschaft, Motiv aus dem Tobel bei Muri

 


Caspar Wolf

Hohlenansicht
1779

 

Fichte's philosophy, which raised the self-conscious ego to the measure of all things; Goethe's Wilbelm Meister, a "Bildungsroman" with its voyages of discovery into the human soul; and the French Revolution — these three were declared the greatest tendencies of the age by Friedrich Schlegel in 1798. The intellectuals of Germany, a land hobbled by particularism that still bore the pompous title of Holy Roman Empire, a feudal country without capital or cultural center, without a politically responsible middle class or industry, initially saw in the French Revolution of 1789 a chance not only for political but for spiritual renewal. The emancipated citizen, they thought, would join ranks with the people of other nations to form a cosmopolitan society, throwing down all intellectual and emotional frontiers. Schlegel, again, stated that it was a revolutionary mission to establish the Kingdom of God, which would be identical with the beginning of progressive development and modern history.

 Yet disappointment soon set in as the consequences of the revolution became ever clearer. The subsequent wars of liberation against Napoleon demanded thinking in terms not of universal but of national politics. Still, with the early Romantics the idea of the nation-state remained bound up with the desire for bourgeois emancipation and for a new, progressive attitude to life, as when Schleiermacher, in 1807, linked the neo-Protestant movement with the emergence of the German nation.

 The usual distinction made in German Romanticism between a Protestant northern and a Catholic southern stream is superfically correct; it is true to say that much of southern German painting was strongly determined by Catholic subject matter and aims, and therefore was relatively conservative in orientation. Still, painters in northern Germany saw themselves beholding not so much to Protestantism as a confessional dogma as to a religiosity that was universal in the sense described above - that is, humane and cosmopolitan. A revealing example in this regard is Friedrich's Tetschen Altarpiece of 1807/08, which after many alterations of plan was finally installed in the palace chapel of a Catholic prince, without artist or liberal-minded buyer seeing any obstacle in the sacred content of the painting.

 Friedrich's mind was not beclouded by mysticism to nearly the extent that some of his contemporaries and many of his modern commentators maintain. Certainly he was a Romantic — but one who kept his eyes open to his environment and era. Nor was it simply Teutomania that made Friedrich a Francophobe. It was the conviction that Napoleon had betrayed the French Revolution (which admittedly many Romantics initially idealized) and had humbled Germany. At this point, such motifs as cliffs, boulders, oak, fir, and pine trees began to take on a new prominence in Friedrich's art. These were allusions to things German, if very covert ones, since French censorship had continually to be reckoned with. The call to arms ardently followed by his artist and poet friends  Kersting, Theodor Korner (1791-1813), Friedrich de la Motte Fouque (1777-1843), Philipp Veit  (1793-1877) and Ferdinand Olivier (1784-1841), was not for Friedrich, however, who considered himself too old to fight. But he did sponsor a portion of the equipment for the Voluntary Corps formed to oust Napoleon.

 Friedrich's example made Dresden one of the key centers of Romantic art. For Johan Christian Clausen Dahl (1788-1857), Carus,  Kersting, Ernst Ferdinand Oehme (1797—1855) and many others, the landscape of the region was the prime theme, in which individual mental powers, a divine, cosmic omnipotence, and the Utopia of a harmonious future coverged. Most of these artists were initially receptive to the ideal of a progressive human and political development, as propagated at the start of the century by the Jena circle of philosophers and writers.

 

 

 


Ernst Ferdinand Oehme

Dresden (1797) - Dresden (1855)
 

 

 

 


Ernst Ferdinand Oehme

Kirchenportal

 


Ernst Ferdinand Oehme

An Autumn Afternoon near Bilin in Bohemia
1842
Oil on canvas
Museum of Fine Arts, Leipzig

 


Ernst Ferdinand Oehme

Stolpen Castle
1830
Oil on canvas
Museum of Fine Arts, Leipzig

 

It was Philipp Otto Runge , who lived in Hamburg, who provided the most detailed theoretical underpinning for the new, Romantic painting, declaring landscape to be its foremost mission. Landscape, Runge  said in effect, was not simply the visual compilation of a natural scenery, but revelation through sensation or sentience. By the same token, even a human face or a scene with figures could become a "sentient landscape."

 This perhaps explains why he considered the pure colors to be symbols of a limitless, divine illumination of the universe, which unfurled itself between the poles of light and darkness. Runge developed visual allegories whose pantheism, the belief that God was inherent in every element of the self-existing universe, was most clearly expressed in his cycle of Four Seasons, conceived in 1802/03. The planned cycle united Christian and classical mythological motifs, plants and landscape in ornamental compositions intended as metaphors for human existence. For obvious reasons, Runge 's cerebral and frequently mystical art would not find successors to nearly the same extent as did Friedrich's more cogent symbolism.





The Nazarenes
  

The Nazarenes, the Catholic branch of the German Romantic Movement, envisioned a national art based on medieval Christian traditions. For the generally sentimental treatment of their nostalgic and politically conservative themes, they preferred, unlike their northern German colleagues, the linearly contoured, closed form. The story of the Nazarenes began in 1809, when a few students in Vienna, disaffected with the neoclassicism taught at the academy, formed an "order," the first artists' group in the Romantic era to be inspired by the cult of friendship. They called themselves the St. Luke's Brotherhood, after the Evangelist and patron saint of painters. Conditions for membership were a rejection of academic norms and an adherence to certain ethical and religious principles. From Vienna, the group moved in 1810 to Rome, where they settled in the secularized monastery S. Isidoro. The founding members, who included Johann Friedrich Overbeck  (1789-1869) and Franz Pforr (1788-1812), were joined over the following years by others, such as Peter von Cornelius (1783-1867), Wilhelm von Schadow (1788-1862), Johann and Philipp Veit, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872), Johann Anton Ramboux (1790 - 1866), Joseph Ritter von Fuhrich (1800 - 1876), and Ferdinand Friedrich Olivier (1791 —1859). Due to their long hair parted in the middle, the Romans mocked them as "Nazarenes."
 

 


Johann Ramboux
Adam and Eve after Expulsion from Eden
1818
 

Their appearance and dress amounted to a programmatic statement, for it was not classical antiquity but the "holy" Middle Ages they sought in Rome. The contemporaries of Albrecht Durer (1471 —1528) and the Italian painters before Raphael, especially Fra Angelico (c. 1387-1455) and Perugino (c. 1445 —1523), became the models for the Nazarenes' attempt to revitalize painting by infusing it with profound sacred feeling and a Catholicism accessible to the people. This religious emotion was accompanied by a "neo-German" patriotism supposedly rooted in the people. Thus until about 1830 the Nazarenes embodied a form of Romanticism that, its eyes turned back to the Utopian ideal of the medieval caste society, fought the republican ideas introduced by the Enlightenment and French Revolution. Their subjects, biblical, symbolic, or taken from ancient German history and legends, were treated in a naive, popular, gracefully linear, narrative style.

 The Nazarenes prime aim was to exalt mural painting in this style to a new, grand and national art. They were able to put it into practice to only a modest extent, in projects such as the frescoes for the Palazzo Zuccaro, residence of the Prussian Consul General, Bartholdy, in Rome (1816—1817), and thereafter frescoes in the Casino Massimo. Cornelius was the only member of the group to work on a monumental scale, from 1818 in Munich and then in Berlin.

 Still, in pursuit of their ideal of a revitalized religious mural painting, for a few decades the Nazarenes received greater international attention than any other movement in German Romantic art. Their significance for cultural history lies not least in their contribution to a rediscovery of German medieval and early Renaissance painting, which, for example, was given a prominent place in the museum by Philipp Veit, director of the Stàdelsches Kunstinstitut in Frankfurt from 1830.

 Apart from the two key movements mentioned, there were many other German artists who pursued Romantic or partially Romantic aims on their own. The two most significant were Karl Blechen (1798-1840) and Carl Anton Joseph Rottmann (1797—1840). Blechen, after an early influence from Friedrich, gradually developed a more realistic and daring plein air approach to landscape. Rottmann's idealistic landscapes developed from Romantic beginnings into a monumental picturesqueness, a dramatic, painterly approach that ultimately eludes stylistic classification.

 
 
 


Carl Anton Joseph Rottmann


(b Handschuhsheim, nr Heidelberg, 11 Jan 1797; d Munich, 7 July 1850). German painter. He was taught by his father the university drawing master Friedrich Rottmann (1768–1816); among his fellow students were Carl Philipp Fohr and Ernst Fries. In 1815 Rottmann painted a large watercolour, Heidelberg Castle at Sunset (Heidelberg, Kurpfälz. Mus.). The idealistic forms and romantic lighting are derived from the Scottish painter George Augustus Wallis (1770–1847) who stayed in Heidelberg from 1812 to 1816 on his return from Rome where he had been friendly with Joseph Anton Koch. Rottmann’s first picture in oils was derived from two famous paintings in the collection of the Boisserée family, the Pearl of Brabant by Dieric Bouts the elder or the younger and the Seven Joys of the Virgin by Hans Memling (now both Munich, Alte Pin.). Such a synthesis of two different sets of images was to typify much of Rottmann’s later work. At around the same time Rottmann painted his idealized view of Eltz Fortress. However, his most beautiful early work in oils is Heidelberg Castle at Sunset with Crescent Moon (c. 1820; Heidelberg, Kurpfälz. Mus.). This work already contains many individual motifs that are important in interpreting the content of Rottmann’s later work.
 

   


Carl Anton Joseph Rottmann

View of the Eibsee
1825

 


Carl Anton Joseph Rottmann

Taormina with Mt. Etna
1829

 


Carl Anton Joseph Rottmann

Sicyon with Corinth
1838

 


Carl Anton Joseph Rottmann

Die Insel Delos

 


Carl Anton Joseph Rottmann

Inntal bei Neubeuern
 

 After the fall of Napoleon, Metternich marshalled the forces of restoration at the 1815 Congress of Vienna, and the "Carlsbad Edicts" led to a "persecution of demagogues," that
is, of university staff and journalists suspected of fomenting revolution. The two great German powers — the Austrian empire and the Prussian monarchy — maintained the old feudal and clerical prerogatives, as the congeries of small and miniscule states cultivated a mind set of submissive parochialism. Not until the German Uprising of March 1848 -the same year as Marx and Engels published their Communist Manifesto - would the parliamentary idea enjoy a brief heyday.

 However, the preceding "Vormarz" period had seen the defeat of the great national and democratic tendencies, as the bourgeoisie ensconced itself in submissive humility and forsook the public sphere for the private. In 1848, Victor von Scheffel (1826-1886) published two poems in the Munich satirical magazine Fliegende Blatter whose titles translate as "Biedermann's Cozy Evenings" and "Bummelmaier's Lament." A few years later some other author telescoped these into "Biedermaier," a pseudonym under which he launched a vitriolic attack upon the petty bourgeois complacency of the pre-1848 period. This philistine "new inwardness" also suffused the painting of the time, which can be characterized not so much in terms of a definite style as in terms of its underlying attitude. It was humble and unambitious, expressing itself in small-format compositions for sitting rooms, featuring tightly framed portrayals of local landscapes or towns with figurative staffage, or in individual and group portraits infused with reserved if somewhat prosaic dignity. It was in such work that Biedermeier painters gave their best.

 Romanticism blended seamlessly into Biedermeier. This is just as true of the genre scenes in constricted interiors painted by Kersting as it is of the landscapes and fairy-tale subjects done by Adrian Ludwig Richter (1803—1884) and Moritz von Schwind (1804-1871). In paintings that have lost none of their general appeal even today, Richter transformed the early Romantic, cosmically evocative landscape of the soul into the "garden arbour idyll," a genre named after the then popular household journal, Die Gartenlaube. In Richter's pictures, nature enfolds people like a charming ornament, a domesticated nature in which they feel just as at home as within their own four walls. Peace and quiet is the prime civil right; and where better to find it than out of doors, though not so far out of doors that one loses sight of home. Too much strangeness or unfamiliarity would have disturbed one's recuperation after a long day at the mills. Two of Richter's print sequences were indicatively titled Beschaulkhes und Erbauliches and Furs Haus, or Things Tranquil and Edifying and For the Home.

 Even greater popularity was attained by Schwind, be it through his frescoes in the Munich Residence (begun 1832) and a series of watercolor designs for Hohenschwangau Castle, for the Wartburg in Thuringia (begun 1853) or for the Vienna Opera House (begun 1866), or be it through his fairy-tale cycles and paintings such as Rubezahl of 1851 —1859. The most popular and beloved Biedermeier artist of all, however, was Carl Spitzweg (1808-1859), whose whimsical visual anecdotes, for all their idyllic character, tacitly caricatured the narrow-mindedness of his fellow citizens. His humorously ironic themes should not blind us to the free, well-nigh impressionist paint handling that came to the fore especially in Spitzweg's late period.

 The Romantic vision of a continual progress from the finite to the infinité entailed a rejection of every self-contained, classical view of the world, in favor of both formally and substantially open compositions. Many of the artists' contemporaries dismissed this openness as being tantamount to mere indulgence in mysticism. A number of Romantic artists in fact became tragic outsiders. The failure of their Utopian goals plunged them into melancholy, into a cult of friendship with a handful of kindred spirits, into a retreat to solitude in nature. At such existential extremes, these attitudes remained limited to the "pure" Romanticism of the first two or three decades of the century. Still, Romantic traits continued to suffuse a large part of German painting throughout the nineteenth century, being present in the Biedermeier, but above all in the more naturalistic landscape tendencies to follow.

 The final third of the century, however, witnessed a true burgeoning of the Romantic attitude. Examples are the paintings of Arnold Bocklin (1827-1901), shot through with melancholy, a mood of death, and mythological symbolism, as well as and especially the artistic program of the Bavarian "fairy-tale king," Ludwig II. In the spirit of Richard Wagner's musical dramas, Ludwig began in 1868 to have his neoromantic Neuschwanstein Castle decorated with scenes from Tristan and Isolde, Lohengrin, Tannhauser, and Parsifal. Though the Romantic attitude does not fully explain Ludwig's palaces, it does explain his immersion in a built dreamworld, as well as his wish that it be demolished after his death.

 But there can be no doubt that all this was a far cry from early German Romanticism around 1800 and its political and prophetic aspects. Now Romanticism merely served as a means of escape from a disenchanted reality, and into the magic realm of distant times and climes, an escape in which the nouveau riche bourgeoisie increasingly began to participate from 1850 onwards. Sitting rooms were plunged in dimness by pseudo-oriental curtains that kept banality at bay; knick-knacks and travel souvenirs embodied middle-class visions of escape and meaning, or reminiscences of a medieval era of leaded-glass and knight's manors. Home was a place for reverie, while real life took place outside, in the counting-houses and mills, the barracks and government offices.
  

 


Arnold Bocklin
The Island of the Dead
1883
 

see collections:

Karl Blechen

Moritz von Schwind

Carl Spitzweg

Franz Ludwig Catel

 

 

Discuss Art

Please note: site admin does not answer any questions. This is our readers discussion only.

 
| privacy