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The Artistic and Literary Response to Industrialization

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Abac Adaba

on 14 March 2013

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Transcript of The Artistic and Literary Response to Industrialization

During the 19th Century, the European reaction to Industrialization, as exemplified through its art and literature, was rooted mainly in the styles of Classicism and Romanticism. Classicism was used to preserve tradition while creating unifying political power, and Romanticism was used to highlight the beauty of nature and its exploration. Classicism Classicist Literature Romanticism Romantic Literature As Industrialization swept across Europe, destroying nature, polluting cities, and creating a socioeconomic divide between the rich and the poor, the art and literary forms of Classicism and Romanticism provided an escape while documenting the problems of 19th Century Europe. Classicism itself refers to a return to or maintaining of "Classic" style. Classic art and literature is marked by a use of Greek and Roman themes. Classicism has varied throughout time, and had a pre-Romantic, scientific feel in the 19th Century. Pre-Raphaelites, such as William Holman Hunt and Thomas Woolner, were considered artistic rebels, using classicism to rebel against untethered emotion often found in art. Classicist literature took a political tone. It was used to demand political power and representation from Europe's leaders, many of whom were still monarchs, often bounded by little more than a weak constitution. Romanticism is an artistic style that fantasizes about a return to simple, nature-based times. The 1800s were plagued by war and the growing pains of the Industrial Revolution. Cities like London and Paris were developing rapidly, but were getting intensely polluted and overcrowded as a result of Industrialization. As Europe developed better machinery and weaponry, war became common place and more bloody than before. Europe used art and literature to escape these realities. Romanticist literature, much like classicist literature, took a more political tone. Though it also addressed a love for nature, it did so by condemning the evils of the newly Industrialized world. Authors such as Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, and William Blake talked about the suffering and advancements of the Industrial Revolution. Dickens' 'Oliver Twist' and 'A Christmas Carol' exemplify the advancements and problems created by Indutrialization. European Response It is in our nature as humans to express ourselves in relation to and in reaction to events and occurrences in our surroundings. During the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century, Europe responded to Industrialization through art and Literature. Europe's Nineteenth Century Reaction to Industrialization as Shown by Art and Literature 19th Century European Classicism was a precursor to academicism. With the recent technological advances in steam use and in machinery in general, science played a role in Classicist art. Classicist art took into account Newtonian principles of energy transfer. People like William Wordsworth wrote poetry that represented the common man. Romantic art is marked by scenes of nature and the countryside. It often celebrates folk culture and harmony with nature. It reminds people of the time before Industrialization polluted and began to destroy nature. Romanticism also exemplified the suffering of the socioeconomic gap created by Industrial Revolution. It showed the destruction created by Industrialization. Romantic music greatly reflected the beauty of nature and a desire to escape from the Industrially fueled wars of the 19th Century. Beethoven's 'Pastoral Symphony' and Mozart's E-flat Major Symphony reflect an appreciation for nature and spirituality, in stark contrast to the regimented, mechanized world.
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