Becoming Modern By: John Familara


During the 1800s, It was a time in which many artistic and intellectual movements occurred causing the society to progress into a more modern age. Many of the ideas that were once believed to be set and stone were modernized. The outlook on art and science was forever changed. Instead of art focusing on wealthy aspect it was mainly more focused on the human emotion, and the beauty of nature. In the scientific aspect, instead of people having their beliefs based on the Bible, people developed their own mindset on science which then triggered the ideals of writers. Literature was more focused on the everyday life of a person.


Refers to the birth of a new set of ideas. It’s about a mindset and a way of feeling. Romanticism began in western Europe in the mid 18th century in the works of artist, poets, and philosophers. And it spread throughout the world and changed the way people look at nature, children, love, sex, money, and work.

Romantic Artists

The Third of May, 1808

Francis de Goya's painting, The Third of May, 1808, is a good representation on how artists broke classical forms in order to emphasize emotion and individuality, as it depicts a Spanish man pleading for mercy as the French soldier points his rifle at him after slaughtering hundreds of countrymen. The painting was a commemoration of the Spanish resisting to Napoleon's armies.

Romantic Composer

Ludwig van Beethoven, although deaf, was known to be one of the most influential figures in the history of classical music. His work brought Classical form to its highest expressive level, expanding in formal, structural, and harmonic terms the musical idiom developed by predecessors such as Mozart and Haydn. Beethoven's work also inspired other romantic composers such as Frederick Chopin and Richard Wagner.

Romantic Literature

John Keats, a romantic poet, although only been writing for about 5 years, became one of the greatest writers in the world. His poems is considered as a romanticism as he contained nature into them. By doing so, making his poems more romantic and gentle. Keats was also very poor during the time and his work received countless harsh reviews.

Realist Science

As revolutions ended during the 19th century, people started to value other important things such as experimentation. An influential figure, such as Charles Darwin, and his theory of origins and evolution's of human, which was then called Darwinism, led to people leaving the beliefs of the church and developed their own mindset.

Realist Writers

Writers were also influenced by this concept, as their writings contained more of the everyday life. Emile Zola believed that novels should contain an accurate picture on the everyday life. He believed that by acting scientifically would have a better outcome for portraying the every day life.

Charles Dickens, a similar writer to that of Emile Zola, had the same belief that people should include the everyday life in their work. One of his famous work, The Tales of Two Cities, Dickens captures the inequality between the social classes. Which led to the lower class revolting, fighting for themselves against the government.


Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud, a leading psychologist during his time, made many discoveries about the human body while conscious and unconscious. His study examined how a human dream could affect their everyday life and how it can motivate them. Which ties back to the ideas of the figures above.

Modern Art

Claude Monet, The Argenteuil Bridge

During the impressionist movement where artworks represented the ideas of beauty and patriotism, Claude Monet's painting, The Argenteuil Bridge strays away from the artist in the past as she uses a unique technique in order to focus more on the landscape itself rather than the realistic ideals of objects and nature.

Vincent van Gogh, The bedroom

A painting in which represented the post-impressionism was Vincent van Gogh's painting, the bedroom. Van Gogh wanted to represent peacefulness and harmony in this artwork by using colors and different brush strokes. Although the artwork was seen as if it was painted by an unskilled person, for Van gogh it was authentic.

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