"Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog", by Caspar David Friedrich
Whereas the Neoclassical took Antiquity for its model, the Romantics turned to the Middle Ages, which seems like a refreshing change of decor - hence the Neo-Gothic or Troubadour styles. The medieval period was also later perceived as a period of intense piety, to which artists wish to return - hence the Nazarene movement in Germany and the Pre-Raphaelite movement in Great Britain.
"Sir Isumbras at the Ford", by Pre-Raphaelite John Everett Millais
The Brotherhood of Pre-Raphaelites had four guiding principles that could also be said to hold true for great many other creators of Romantic art.
- to have genuine ideas to express
- to study nature attentively, so as to know how to express them
- to sympathise with what is direct and serious and heartfelt in previous art, to the exclusion of what is conventional and self-parodying and learned by rote
- most indispensable of all, to produce thoroughly good pictures and statues
The Orientalist painting "Odalisque", by Eugène Delacroix
Artists had always turned to Rome for their training and inspiration. In the Romantic period they travelled to other climes to discover Morocco, Algeria, Turkey and Spain. This gave rise to the Orientalist movement that portrayed the exoticism of mysterious Arab cultures with veiled women and the brilliant lights and deep shadows of Mediterranean landscapes. Napoleon Bonaparte's campaigns also contributed to making these lands part of the Romantic imagination.
Painters took inspiration less from mythology and more from literature, either from the contemporary Romantic authors from rediscovered older writers, such as Shakespeare and Dante. There was also a new fascination with Nordic mythology, as Wagner's operas proved.
Simple, evocative music to accompany old films?
Next month I'm going to put on a screening of antique films (1920s-1940s) and am looking for music to play as an accompaniment. For many of them I've got raucous old jazz stuff (Jelly Roll, King Oliver, etc), but there are a bunch that need a more spare and romantic feel.
I'm thinking classical stuff - simple solo piano or chamber music, preferably older recordings. Nothing too bombastic.
Can anyone recommend some good artists (or specific recordings) for this? I was thinking some Chopin nocturnes, maybe some Satie, have some old instrumental tango recordings, but otherwise am not sure