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5.10 Features of French Romantic art and artists – exercise

Exercise 5

Try to list as many features as you can of French Romantic art and artists, as explored here.


  1. The Romantic artist in the grip of genius and inspiration.

  2. The Romantic artist as one of an elite band of feeling souls, striving to communicate with others.

  3. A self-conscious approach to artistic creativity, individuality and identity.

  4. An acknowledgement that the true self and ultimate reality are concealed beneath a material, sensuous façade.

  5. A belief in a complex self accessible only to the initiated.

  6. A compulsion to rebel, innovate and modernise.

  7. A conscious abolition of traditional boundaries and categories of subject matter and genres.

  8. An attraction towards the Gothic, the fantastic and the irrational.

  9. An onslaught on conservatism, both cultural and political.

  10. A liberated use of the imagination.

Don’t worry if you did not get all of these points, or if you listed or named them slightly differently. It is, in any case, difficult to define an approach to art that, in the case of Delacroix, consciously resisted all definition.