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English Romanticism — Visual Art

Early Romantic Influences

Jacques Louis David, Marat Assassine (1793)

Jacques Louis David, Les Licteurs Rapportent a Brutus Les Corps de Ses Fils (1789)


William Blake

See entry on POETS page for link to Blake's Illustrations


John Constable

Biographical Info
Born: 1776
Died: 1837

British Landscape artist

  • Just as his contemporary William Wordsworth rejected what he called the `poetic diction' of his predecessors, so Constable turned away from the pictorial conventions of 18th-century landscape painters, who, he said, were always `running after pictures and seeking the truth at second hand'. Constable thought that `No two days are alike, nor even two hours; neither were there ever two leaves of a tree alike since the creation of the world', and in a then new way he represented in paint the atmospheric effects of changing light in the open air, the movement of clouds across the sky, and his excited delight at these phenomena, stemming from a profound love of the country: `The sound of water escaping from mill dams, willows, old rotten planks, slimy posts and brickwork, I love such things. These scenes made me a painter.' (Web Museum, Paris)

Major Works

Brighton Beach, (50 Kb); Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Tree Trunks, (80 Kb); Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Lock at Dedham, 1824 (40 K)

The Leaping Horse, 1825 (90 Kb); sketch; Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Chain Pier, Brighton, 1827 (170 Kb); Oil on canvas, 127 x 183 cm (50 x 72 in)


Eugene Delacroix

Biographical Info
Born: 1798
Died: 1863

  • French painter
  • Noted for use of color which influenced later impressionism movement
  • Was influenced by English painter John Constable and English poet Lord Byron
  • Illustrated a French edition of Goethe's Faust

Major Works

La Liberté Guidant Le Peuple, (90 Kb); Painted on 28 July 1830, to commemorate the July Revolution that had just brought Louis-Philippe to the French throne; Louvre.

The Barque of Dante, 1822 (150 Kb); Oil on canvas, 189 x 242 cm (74 1/2 x 95 1/4"); Musee du Louvre, Paris

Combat of Giaour and Hassan, 1826 (80 Kb); Oil on canvas; Art Institute of Chicago

The Death of Sardanapal , 1827 (130 Kb); Oil on canvas, 392 x 496 cm; Musee du Louvre, Paris


Henry Fuseli

Biographical Info
Born: 1741
Died: 1825

Swiss born painter, draughtsman, and writer on art
Writings include:

  • Lectures on Painting (1801)
  • Translation of Winckelmann's Reflections on the Painting and Sculpture of the Greeks (1765)

Major Works

Lady Macbeth, 1784 (30 Kb); Oil on canvas; Louvre

Macbeth and the Witches, (20 Kb); Oil on canvas; Petworth House at Sussex, England

Perseus Returning the Eye of the Graii, (60 Kb); Pen; City Art Gallery at Birmingham, England


Joseph Mallord William Turner

Biographical Info
Born: 1775
Died: 1851

  • One of the founders of English watercolor landscape painting
  • Instead of merely recording factually what he saw, Turner translated scenes into a light-filled expression of his own romantic feelings. (Web Museum, Paris)

Major Works

Landscape with Distant River and Bay, Oil on canvas (100 Kb), 94 x 124 cm (37 x 49"); Musee du Louvre, Paris

Snowstorm, 1842 (220 Kb); Oil on canvas, 91.5 x 122 cm (36 x 48 in)

Rain, Steam, and Speed: The Great Western Railway, 1844


George Walker

Biographical Info
Born: 1781
Died: 1856

  • English Painter

Major Works

Wensley Dale Knitters, (1814)

Middleton Colliery, (1814)
First ever painting of a locomotive