Caspar David Friedrich was a German landscape painter and considered one of the most important artists of the Romantic Period.
In this painting, Friedrich paints himself in it, looking out into a field of fog. This was a great example of the Romantic approach to art. He used his landscape painting to express himself. Friedrich definitely knew how to capture nature and the landscapes around him down to every detail. The Romantics believed that artists who explored their own emotions had to completely step aside from the money making, the political influences, and the community chatter in order to maintain their positions (Restoration Europe-Romanticism). Friedrich was known to have religious meanings in all of his paintings, even if the signs weren't so visible.
Théodore Géricault was a popular French painter. Although he died young, he is considred a pioneer of the Romantic movement.
Gericault was only 27 years old when he painted the Raft of the Medusa. Instantly it was considered a classic of the Romance period. The brutality and realism captured the raw emotion of the devastating event that shocked the entire french community. The Medusa was a french ship off the coast of Africa in 1816. The ship got stuck on a sandbar, and after three unsuccessful days of trying to free itself, the crew resorted to loading up in life boats. Unfortunately there was a crew of 400 and only 250 could fill in the life boats. So a very poorly constructed raft carried 149 men and one woman. Over the course of 15 brutal days at sea, some men got thrown off, some threw themselves off, and others resorted to cannibalism. Once they were finally rescued only 15 men survived (Artble).
Gericault's painting depicted the captain deserting his crew and leaving them to die. This painting showed the negligence of the government and brought fame to him quickly.
Robert Schumann was a very influential German composer and music critic. He is well known as one of the greatest composers of the Romanticism period. Schumann, who originally going to school to study law, quit school to pursue a career as a pianist. He had been told by many of his peers that he would become the finest piano player in Europe. Unfortunately, a hand injury ended his dream. He didn't give up on music however, he then decided to start writing and composing music.
Schumann's published works were only written for the piano until the year 1840. Eventually, he composed works for the piano and for an orchestra. He had many popular works that made him well known throughout Europe. Works such as Carnaval, Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana, and the Fantasie in C are among his most famous.
Schumann married Clara Wieck in 1840. She was the daughter of Friedrich Wieck who did not approve of the marriage. Friedrich was one of the pianist teachers Schumann had as a young adult. He is often accused of being the reason why Schumann injured his hand, but the probable cause is unknown. Clara was also a composer who gained a lot of popularity by her piano concerts.
The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon Gent, is a collection of 34 short stories written by Washington Irving. Irving was a well known author in the United States. Two of his most famous stories, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, were two pieces of literature that brought the Romantic Gothic to America. The sketch book was published from 1819-1820 and was one of the first books to be widely read across Europe.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was about a town teacher and choir leader named Ichabod. He finds favor in a young lady and tries to court her. However, there is another man named Brom who also is in love with the same girl. He threatens to kill Ichabod. One night at a party, Ichabod tries one more time to win the heart of this young lady. She rejects him and heads home. The next morning there is no trace of Ichabod. Only his hat, a smashed pumpkin, and horse tracks. Everyone assumes the legendary Headless Horse Man got him, but Brom acts suspiciously peculiar about Ichabod. Long story short, no one knows if Ichabod ran away or died (Shmoop Editorial Team, 2008).
Rip Van Winkle was written while Washington Irving was in England. A man named Rip Van Winkle, right before the Revolutionary war, went for a hike. He found a group of men who shared their “special” drink with him. Van Winkle falls asleep, and wakes up 20 years later under a tree. He finds that his wife has passed away and his kids are all grown up. The world around him has completely changed. This was a short story to show how much the world has changed since the war (Super Summary).