ROMANTICISM
     
John Martin, an English Romantic painter:  Macbeth (1820), inspired by Macbeth and Banquo's walk toward Forres. Macbeth: So foul and fair a day I have not seen. Banquo: How far is 't to Forres?
Romanticism is a complex artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Western Europe, and gained strength during the Industrial Revolution. It was partly a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature, and was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature.

The movement stressed strong emotion as a source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as trepidation, horror and awe—especially that which is experienced in confronting the sublimity of untamed nature and its picturesque qualities, both new aesthetic categories. It elevated folk art and custom to something noble, and argued for a "natural" epistemology of human activities as conditioned by nature in the form of language, custom and usage.

John Stuart Mill, a British philosopher, political economist, civil servant and author of, amoung other 'On Liberty', fell under the influence of Romanticism which has left deep traces in his work


Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (German: Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer; also known as Wanderer Above the Mist) is an oil painting composed in 1818 by the German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich. It currently resides in the Kunsthalle Hamburg in Germany.

In the foreground, a young man stands upon a rocky precipice, his back to the viewer. He is wrapped in a dark green overcoat, and grips a walking stick in his right hand. His hair caught in a wind, the wanderer gazes out on a garish landscape covered in a thick sea of fog.

In the middle ground, several other ridges, perhaps not unlike the ones the wanderer himself stands upon, just out from the mass.

Through the wreaths of fog, forests of trees can be perceived atop these escarpments. In the far distance, faded mountains rise in the west, gently leveling off into lowland plains in the east. Beyond here, the pervading fog stretches out indefinitely, eventually commingling with the horizon and becoming indistinguishable from the cloud-filled sky.

'The romantic spirit knows many forms, in music, tempted and tempting, loving vista's in the future and out of the past, of surprises within triviality, of extremes, of the unconscious, of the dream, of the madness, of the labyrints of reflection. The romantic spirit is not constant, it is changing all the time and conflicting, hamkering and cynical, mad on the inconceivable and popular, ironic and fanatical, self-satisfied and social, formal and transforming' (R. Safranski: Romanticism; a German Affair).

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog