The word “romance” is both powerful and personal, and inspires unique memories, reactions and emotions in every individual who hears it. It defines a quality of life, a type of story, a class of languages, a kind of art and music, and exciting and mysterious qualities that are difficult to define.
Since Romance Tracker’s mission is to deliver fresh romantic ideas to our readers, we’re going to dedicate a series of posts to the all-important question: what exactly is romance, and what does the word “romantic” mean?
Today we’re going to explore the Romantic Period, a period of history that produced some of the world’s greatest works of art, literature and music.
Romance as a Time Period
In the history of culture, the Romantic Period was a span of about a hundred years that started near the opening of the 19th century and ended near the opening of the 20th century. While art, literature and music created during the preceding Classical Period was based on order and strict rules, Romanticism inspired productions of raw emotion and unbridled imagination.
Authors, artists and musicians of the Romantic Period were surrounded by political unrest, revolution and fresh new ways of interpreting the world, and it shows in their work. While artists of the Classical Period produced works inspired by reason and their employer’s wishes, Romantic artists created works of art based on a new concept: their own feelings.
Some historians say that the Romantic Movement was inspired by revolt against the aristocracy, order, politics and scientific reason that defined the preceding age. This desire to concentrate on individual experience and emotion is said to have been intensified by the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution.
Artists of the Romantic Period
Some of the more famous Romantic composers include Ludwig van Beethoven, Frederic Chopin and Felix Mendelssohn. Their contemporaries in literature and art included Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Blake, Francisco Goya and John William Waterhouse.
The groundbreaking literary, musical and artistic methods developed during the Romantic Period remain with us to this very day, and even our contemporary culture is saturated with concepts and melodies inspired by Romanticism.
So the next time you hear the word “romantic,” remember that it has many definitions . . . not all of which are rooted in passion or love. The romantic artist is one who creates masterpieces inspired by raw individual emotion, but that emotion doesn’t necessarily have to be love.