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The evolution of art produces movements that are often reactions to preceding movements, and Romanticism is no different. As Neo-Classicism was a reaction to the Baroque movement, Romanticism was a reaction to the Neo-Classical movement. The movement is so varied in its output, it is difficult to clearly classify it, but in short it was the victory of emotion over reason, exemplified by spontaneous expression.

Romanticism is an attitude of mind rather than a set of stylistic criteria or traits. Therefore, by this definition, the artists of the Romantic movement produced works that differed greatly from one another. However, stylistically these artists, such as Turner, Blake, and Goya painted in an energetic and bold style using broad and colorful brush strokes. Other painters such as the great English landscape artists John Constable worked in a more reserved style, though still emotional in output. These contrasting variations in style did help to produce varying works, but the thought and emotion behind all of the Romantic works was consistent and helped to generate a generation of exciting and diverse artists.

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Did You Know?

Did you know that Spanish painter Francisco de Goya was moderately successful and had achieved some notoriety prior to 1792? However, in that year he developed a mysterious and traumatic illness that left him deaf. The onset of his deafness also marked the turning point in his career and creative sense. Great success soon followed the departure of his hearing as he would become one of the greatest painters of the Romantic era.

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