Romanticism

Romanticism in England

Artists in early nineteenth century England celebrated nature at its most humble, and its most grand.

c. 1780 - 1848

videos + essays

From terrifying nightmares to idyllic country scenes, apocalyptic landscapes to speeding trains.

John Constable, <em>The Hay Wain</em>
John Constable, The Hay Wain

Landscape painting was considered lowly subject, but Constable gives them the six-foot treatment.

John Constable, <em>Wivenhoe Park, Essex </em>
John Constable, Wivenhoe Park, Essex

Can you paint a portrait of place? Constable makes a case for it with this idyllic depiction of a country estate.

J.M.W. Turner at Tate Britain
J.M.W. Turner at Tate Britain

Fancy a trip to Tate Britain? Visit the largest collection of work by Turner anywhere—no passport required.

William Blake, <em>The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins</em>
William Blake, The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins

There are two types of people in the world: those who preserve their lamp oil, and those who don’t. Which are you?

J. M. W. Turner, <em>The Harbor of Dieppe</em>
J. M. W. Turner, The Harbor of Dieppe

Beautifully rendered details of the Dieppe harbor are second only to Turner’s true love—the sublime sun.

John Constable, <em>View on the Stour near Dedham</em>
John Constable, View on the Stour near Dedham

Refusing to idealize, Constable fills his landscapes with the specificity of a fleeting summer day.

J. M. W. Turner, <em>Slave Ship</em>
J. M. W. Turner, Slave Ship

A beautiful sunset, but look closer. One of humanity’s most hideous acts—seen in the waves of the indifferent sea.

Henry Fuseli, <em>Titania and Bottom</em>
Henry Fuseli, Titania and Bottom

Fuseli’s fairies resist his era’s embrace of the rational in favor of the emotive and fantastic.

J. M. W. Turner, <em>Rain, Steam, and Speed — The Great Western Railway</em>
J. M. W. Turner, Rain, Steam, and Speed — The Great Western Railway

In a time when horses were the fastest mode of transit, the railroad was as radical as Turner’s abstraction.

John Nash, Royal Pavilion, Brighton
John Nash, Royal Pavilion, Brighton

A prince-regent with a private architect builds a fantasy seaside home mixing all the metaphors of empire.

John Martin, <em>The Great Day of His Wrath</em>
John Martin, The Great Day of His Wrath

People paid to see this apocalyptic painting performed with light and sound—as much theatre as work of art.

J. M. W. Turner, <em>The Fighting Temeraire</em>
J. M. W. Turner, The Fighting Temeraire

The famous battleship on its way to be dismantled is a powerful metaphor for a heroic past, now outmoded.

Selected Contributors | Romanticism in England