19th Century Art History

Main Ideas

Industrial Revolution

1750 - 1850

The industrial revolution had a devastating effect on natural landscapes and the economic position of those living in the countryside.


1804 - 1815

Neoclassicism was an artistic and architectural revival of prominent features of classical Greek and Roman art. This movement began late in the 18th century but was prolonged and then put to rest under Napoleon's reign, Neoclassicism was a particularly rational style that reinforced the ideas of the Enlightenment and can be associated with Voltaire.

Continuance of Romanticism

1805 - 1840

Romanticism first began around 1750, but is more narrowly used to describe the transition between Neoclassicism and Realism. Romanticism had a straight focus on feeling and imagination, as oposed to the reason and thought emphasized in its Neoclassical predecessor. This style can be associated with Rousseau, due to his literary focus on the beleif that each individual is born with freedoms that no one had a right to take away from them. Romantics were believers in freedom that they saw best acheived through feeling and imagination, which were closer to the core of the human being, than reason and thought which were more detached.


1850 - 1960

Modernism has its roots in the 19th century, but never really began until about after world war one.


1850 - 1939

Although Realism really continues into present day, traditionally it is though of as ending in the early decades of the 20th century. Realism depicts life the way it is, without Baroque embellishments or Romantic ideals.


1862 - 1886

Impressionism was a radical form of Realism, depicting not even the current day but one single moment and ones "first impression" and emotions in that moment.

Franco-Prussian War

1870 - 1871

A lot of artists fled and stuff
its not super important only kinda
just trust me okay mention it or something


The Sublime


The imaginative sensibility was closely related the the period's notion of the sublime. Edmund Burke was a British politician and philosopher. In "A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful" Burke explains his notion of the sublime, a definition that can be applied to early Romantic works. Burke explained the sublime as the mixture of awe and terror. The two most primal and powerful emotions are pain and fear, and the separation of the two creates a thrill depicted in early Romanticism. This focus on the sublime came with all the mystery and intrigue of the Middle Ages, a time telling the tales of all that was brought to the surface when reason was sacrificed for the core of the human soul.

Landscape paintings become fully independent and respected genre


Expanding tourism gave landscape paintings a purpose to fill, filling the public's love of the picturesque. 18th century artists defined picturesque as the pleasurable, aesthetic mood that natural landscapes inspired. Romantics, on the other hand, translated landscapes into the mood of the viewer, making landscape paintings a sort of poetry. Nature was used not just as a "pretty picture" but as an allegory for spiritual, moral, historical, or philosophical issues. Artists could "naturalize" conditions, making them seem normal, acceptable, or inevitable. The landscape contributed to the Romantic's idea of nature unified with god and the spirit, so artist may not only depict nature but also participate in it.

Abbey in the Oak Firest


Friedrich's work depicts death greiving, and a commentary on human mortality mixed with a nod to the destruction done on the church in that period. Frirdrich balanced the inner and outer experience, demonstrating his beleif that "the artist should not only paint what he sees before him but what he sees within him". Straying from theatricality, Friedrich's paintings are wrought with deep, resonant emotion.

Grande Odalisque


Ingres lent much of his stylistic consideration in this piece to classical artists such as Giorgione, Titian, Raphael, and Parmigianino. His conversion of classical to modern is his choice to make the figure an odalisque, an exotic subject matter associated more with Romanticism. This painting received much criticism for this modern choice, but eventually became an example of the adaption of Neoclassical to compete with the growing Romantic movement.

Royal Pavilion

1815 - 1818

England's imperialism allowed it to become exposed to many new non western artistic styles. The Royal Pavilion, designed by Nash, displayed a blend of newly discovered Islamic styles and traditional English styles, called "Indian Gothic". The interior is influenced by a myriad of other places, such as China, Greece, and Egypt.

Raft of the Medusa by Theodore Gericault

1818 - 1819

Gericaults blend of Neoclassical subject choice with Romantic intent is best represented in this piece. Although dramatic and unorganized, this painting maintains remarkable historical accuracy. While Neoclassicism would have a pointed agenda, Gericault merely lends true human understanding to the events by depicting both the pain, despair, and death at the scene but the lighter days on the horizon. Gericault means not to express a disillusioned hope usually confused with Romanticism, but to express all ranges of emotions as being real and human. The Romantic interest in macabre subjects is an expression of finding real truth through the core being of man- his feelings and primal beliefs.
One key point in Roimanticism is its psychological and anthropological study of the human psyche and its overall effect on the being. for another example, see "Insane Woman" also by Gericault.

The Haywain


Constable's painting is important more for what it does not convey than for what it does. The Haywain shows beautiful, peaceful rural land, something fast disappearing in industrial England. It is Constable's choice not to include any of this unrest that expresses the country's Romantic longing for the simpler times where farming was a more certain occupation. The person in this painting almost blends into the nature, showing a oneness with nature that was getting harder and harder to find.

Rue Transnonain


Daumier paints s scene after a massacre in a workers housing block. Instead of depicting the moment of execution, a Romantic trend, Daumier paints the quiet aftermath, the Realist take on the scene. Because the action is gone, the viewer sees the scene as if the bodies had just been discovered, triggering an emotional response to an event that had been passed off as excessive but okay.

Houses of Parliament


Designed by Barry and Pugin. Despite its Gothic look, the houses of parliament are not truly Gothic. The buildings retain a Palladian regularity. Pugin himself admitted that the design is more Grecian, with Tudor details on a classical body.

The Calotype Photography Process


Although the Daguerreotype reigned supreme until 1850, the calotype eventually overtook it in popularity.

Dageurreotype Process of Photography


The Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon Coming On


Turner also painted his reactions to the industrial revolution. The effect of industrialization on the slave trade (and a recent news event) prompted this painting of slaves being thrown over. True to the Romantic belief of Nature over Humans, he paints mostly scenery. Upon closer inspection, though, one can see the shackles around the slaves hand and feet, giving them no chance to save themselves.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood


Founded by John Everett Millais, this group of artists refused to be limited to the ideals of more modern art and depicted historical, mythological, and fanciful scenes with illusionist twists. The brotherhood had a distaste for the modern materialism of the industrial age and artistic pursuits of the descendants of Raphael, and embraced what they saw as a purer art form influenced by the middle ages and early Renaissance. Included Millais and Rossetti.

The Stone Breakers


France's workers revolution of 1848 flung the laboring poor into the artistic spotlight. Courbet's painting depicts two stone breakers, the task of the lowest in french society, with unidealized accuracy. This is an excellent depiction of Realism, as it shows an everyday task without filtering it through biases and ideals, and just painting it how it was- this particular task, dismal and monotonous.

Jaguar Devouring a Hare

1850 - 1851

Barye's sculpture depicts the Romanticist love of animals, seen as closer to the primal nature even humans have inside of hem. The realistic portrayal of the raw instincts of nature to hunt and feed both repel and draw the viewer in, depicting the beauty of nature untamed.

Crystal Palace

1850 - 1851

The Crystal Palace, designed by Joseph Paxton, used an experimental technique of metal and glass roofing to create a large open building with ample interior space and ancient Roman and Christian elements. This building housed the Great Expedition in 1851. The building was made from prefabricated parts, allowing it to be constructed in 6 months. The building was then disassembled and rebuilt elsewhere after te expedition was over.

Wet-Plate Photography


The Horse Fair

1853 - 1855

Bonheur turned away from political and social subjects and focused on animals. This painting required the real, close study of horses that Bonheur completed at the actual horse fair. The drama of the painting and its lack of political and social focus make it a more lighthearted and whimsical piece popular with the upper class and others wishing to look past the issues of their time.

Tiger Hunt


This work shows most Delacroix's love for the fierceness of nature and spontaneity in artistry. One of his later paintings, this piece was painted well into his study and fascination with color and light, making this one of his most telling works as an artist come into himself.

The Gleaners


Millet paints an idealized but still Realist depiction of the poor picking whatever is left off of the fields after the harvest. Because this painting focuses on the reality of the working poor, the painting is considered Realism; however, this painting depicts the works with a peaceful grandeur that leans towards Romanticism. As Marx, Engels, Zola, and Dickens became more widely read, socialism became a growing movement that frightened the upper classes. This painting depicts the lower class in a sympathetic light seemed as more of a political statement championing the working class.

The Opera

1861 - 1874

Designed by Garnier. The riches acquired in this age of expansion bore the Baroque style of architecture that displayed an opulence that can only be afforded by the nouveau riche. This was a lead in for the Beaux-Arts, a style that flourished during the late 19th and early 20th century in France.



Manet's depicting of both a black maid and a nude prostitute highlights the social issue of racial and class divisions. Although prostitutes were not new in art, the defiant look in the woman's eyes provoked the public at the time, who were horrified by the shamelessness and defiance of the woman in the painting. Manet is true to Realism as he does not idealize the scene, nor does he romanticize it. he merely paints the scene as it would be without a message to the public- simply a working woman unashamed of how shes made her money.

Impression: Sunrise


Monet's painting is a great example of pure Impressionism. Prioritizing the feeling and immediate reaction to an image within the image over an optically yaccurate scene is what defines Impressionism as Impressionism, seen in this exemplar of Monet's immediate human reaction to a sunset.

La Place Du Theatre Francais


ermahgerd just look it up.
it's a Pissarro thang. it's some sort of panorama that has something to do with a thing called "Haussmannization" whatever the hell that is. im too tired for this just go pick up a book or google it or whatever.
"stupid future ayla too lazy to do stuff herself i gotta do everything for her grumble grumble grumble"


John Nash

1752 - 1835

Nash was an established architect known mostly for his Neoclassical buildings in London.

Napoleon Bonaparte

1769 - 1821

Napoleon was smart enough to know that the key to a relatively smooth ascension to power was the acceptance of the people, gained through a good public image. It is for this reason that his reign is commonly associated with the beginning of the artistic era of Romanticism that would continue far into the 19th century.

Caspar David Friedrich

1774 - 1840

Friedrich was among the first northern European artists to depict the Romantic transcendental landscape. He believed landscapes were temples and his paintings the altarpieces. Friedrich infused his art with a reverence for nature, depicting landscapes as sacred places filled with holy spirit.

Joseph Mallord William Turner

1775 - 1851

Turner's paintings seem to put him on the side of early colorist paintings, and he is considered an important step to 20th century abstract art. Turner often forwent the definitive lines of shapes and figures to express emotion and meaning through pure color. This is the main subject of many of his paintings, leaving the outlined subject lost on a canvas of frothy colors.

John Constable

1776 - 1837

Constable carefully studied the natural scene of his painting before actually painting it, one of the many reasons he is one of the best known English landscape artists. His wealthy family's rural background gave Constable a lot of choice in ideal landscape to paint, so his paintings often convey a wistful nostalgia for times before agrarian land and its farmers were threatened by the industrial revolution.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

1780 - 1867

Ingres deeply admired and remained loyal to Neoclassicism while at the same time bringing his subjects into the modern era. It was in this way that he was criticised for his straying from traditional Neoclassicism. Other contemporaries, however, moved completely to the Romantic spectrum, casting Ingres in a more traditional light and set him as the conservator of good and true art against Gericault, Delacroix, etc.

Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre

1789 - 1851

Daguerre trained as an architect before becoming a theatrical set painter and designer. This artistic background gave him motivation for a more innovative photography process.

Theodore Gericault

1791 - 1824

Gericault was one of two french artists most closely associated to the Romantic movement. While retaining an interest in the classical heroic and the epic, he brought an emotion and theatricality to classic ideas, portraying mythalogical deity and stories as commentaries on feeling and the human experience instead of stark lessons in reason.

Charles Barry

1795 - 1860

Barry was a widely traveled architect fascinated with the glorious architecture of the past. True to the trend of nationalistic revival of a country''s history through architecture, Barry's designs in England were most often classical Renaissance and NeoGothic.

Antione-Louis Barye

1795 - 1875

Romantic sculptor

Eugene Delacroix

1798 - 1863

Delacroix was a colorist whose competition with Ingres the draftsman almost completely defines the first half of the 19th century. Line, championed by Ingres, was more intellectual and restrictive, while color was imaginative and capturing. Both artists, although on different sides of a spectrum, incorporated Neoclassical and Romantic influences into their art, serving ultimately less as contradictory and more complimentary, as the dialogue between the practical and the spontaneous.
Delacroix believed that the artist's powers of imagination would inflame the viewer's imagination. His visit to Morocco in 1832 revealed to him a society built on virtue and not luxury, a people he saw as more classical than anything Neoclassicism would capture. This society renewed his passion for Romanticism and its beleif in beauty existing in nature, its processes and beings.
Delacroix was fascinated with capturing the expressive power of color and light and became a wealth of knowledge for later color theory that inspired late 19th centure Impressionists. He relied on instinct rather than study, and it was in this way that he epitomized the improvisational Romantic colorist art.

Honore Daumier

1808 - 1879

Authority figures of the upper class became more reactionary and alarmist as the Socialist movement grew. Bold statements made in art, literature, theater,etc. were regulated and suppressed. Daumier, a defender of the urban working classes, was jailed for such bold statements in his art.

A.W.N. Pugin

1812 - 1852

Pugin was an English artist and critic who saw moral purity in the designs of the middle ages. The industrial revolution had led to a trend of cheap and ill-designed buildings, prompting him to team up with Barry and play his role in the creation of English Late Gothic architecture.

Jean Francois Millet

1814 - 1878

Millet was part of the Barbizon school, a group of painters who settled near the village of Barbizon in the forest of Fontainebleau in order to be closer to their subject- the people of the country life. Millet was the most prominent member who himself was a peasant.

Gustave Courbet

1819 - 1877

Although he painted over dramatic emotion, it was still realism. Courbet led the Realist movement in the 19th century. He painted scenes one could see everyday, the core value of realism. Courbet was a socialist and radical thinker who advocated the abolishment of class struggle, an issue he dealt with often through his paintings.

Marie Rosalie Bonheur

1822 - 1899

Bonheur was a product of the utopian socialist movement, something her father was an active part in. Her fathers interest in this movement gave her the opportunity for a good education, as socialism believed in the education of women. This movement gave her a lifelong belief that she could help create a new and perfect society through her painting, which was intensely detail-driven and animal focused.

J.L. Charles Garnier

1825 - 1898


Camille Pissarro

1830 - 1903

Considered a father figure to Impressionists and Post Impressionists, both figuratively and literally.

Edouard Manet

1832 - 1883

Manet, a Realist, also played an important role in the latter Impressionist movement. Manet depicts most purely the Realist principles and is often looked to as the prime example of disciplinary modernism.

Edgar Degas

1834 - 1917

we all know that you could go on forever about how beautiful Degas' paintings are i mean its kind of annoying how many he did on the ballerinas but theyre still all beautifully done and just the people wow talk about connecting to your childhood damn
he was an impressionist too and youve got flipbooks of his stuff and a book on his personal collection just look through it and stop bothering me.

Claude Monet

1840 - 1926

Monet was the leader of impressionism. He had a great fascination for light and color. He's kind of a big deal.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

1841 - 1919

hes like this whole impressionist guy youve seen him in museums before he does blurry things but the way he depicts light is beautiful.

Berthe Morisot

1841 - 1895

domestic scenes, upperclass woman, yadda yadda yadda. sketchy strokes, i dont much care for her but she is good.