When a person says “I’m a romantic” we quickly think that they are a sensitive person who values love as an ideal and is careful with their spouse. However, we are partially wrong, as the romantic is also a creator who is part of a cultural trend: romanticism.
Romanticism in response to Classicism
During the nineteenth century, in Germany and Great Britain, a cultural movement emerged that proposed to overcome the values and aesthetic ideals of the previous movement, classicism. Classical artists were inspired by reason and romantics defended new values, especially passion.
The idealists of classicism argued that reason should be the guide of humanity. In contrast, romantic authors, from any artistic discipline , claimed conflicting ideals: fantasy, feelings , nostalgia and the subjective.
An overview of romantics
Romanticism was initially spread in Europe and later in America in the field of music, literature and painting. Romantic authors defended a new way of understanding the world and, in this way, were supporters of freedom in all its manifestations.
The romantic is an idealist and a rebel who draws on an imaginary past to change the present (some European nationalist movements arose in the context of the romantic movement).
The romantic is also a nonconformist and therefore seeks escape (they love cemeteries, inaccessible landscapes and feel a predilection for the medieval world). Artists want to discover new aesthetic paths and are fascinated by the nature of dreams , pirates, ghosts and intense emotions.
The romantic man does not understand nature in its scientific dimension, but directs his attention to everything that stirs his emotions (fog, thunder and wind).
Although romanticism has disappeared as a cultural current, we can say that its ideals are still alive. Romantic attitudes are present in the attraction to the exoticism of other cultures, in the revolutionary commitment and in the exaltation of the self.