Romanticism Questions and Answers

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What are the differences between Romanticism and classicism?

The differences between Romanticism and classicism include that classicism emphasized order and reason while Romanticism emphasized feelings and emotions, that classical architecture insisted upon symmetry while Romantic architecture allowed for artistic flourishes, and that classical literature focused on important figures while Romantic literature focused on common people.

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Classicism and Romanticism are opposing movements and styles which have been influential in all the major arts of the Western hemisphere. Architecture, painting, music, and literature have all gone through consecutive (and occasionally concurrent) periods of classicism and Romanticism, the two extremes of which are instantly recognizable. The great public buildings of Washington DC, for instance, are ostentatiously classical, with the notable exception of the Smithsonian Castle. Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, the inspiration behind the Disney castle, is extravagantly Romantic.

The difference between classical and Romantic art in all genres has been eloquently expressed by numerous highly partisan commentators. John Ruskin, for instance, writing on architecture, argued that the Romantic style elevated the artisan to an artist, while classicism debased him into a slave. This was because classical architecture demanded perfect symmetry and prearranged order, while gothic architecture (the...

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