Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Even, Robert L.||Burke, Roy O.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Art


Romanticism in art


The purpose of this paper was to explore those characteristics in contemporary art which appear to be attributes of the romantic spirit, and, by citing historical examples, to prepare a contemporary analogy. An attempt was made to show that the contemporary romantic can be identified through certain common attitudes which do not seem fully present in his classical counterpart. The divisions in the paper were three-fold. The first section dealt with definitions and historically pertinent data which set the groundwork for the development of the paper. A subsequent section was devoted to the spiritual aspects of the modern movement and how romanticism maintained its importance throughout the movement. The third discussion centered on three recurring elements of romanticism, namely, nostalgia, magical innocence and the enigma, and the form these attributes assumed on the contemporary scene. It was demonstrated that there are, indeed, many important artists living today that seem to operate on romantic dictums and that the classicist and the romanticist are identifiable by their adherence to certain techniques, methods and concerns. Further, the connection between the humanist’s spirit of the existential philosophy and the spirit of the romantic was brought to light. Recommendations were made for further study in the areas of the spiritual revolution in art and the existentialist’s role in the romantic aesthesia. The literary distinctions made in this paper are predicated on the fact that the dialectic conflicts between dramatic and formal, romantic and classical, expressive and architectural remain in abstract painting as much as in all kinds of painting and differ in degree.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


vii, 73 pages




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