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Harbingers - Description
Simultaneously with the return to antiquity there set in another reaction against the tendencies of that elegant French art which had held all Europe in its spell; this was the Romantic Movement. Its first manifestations were sporadic and it was only in the 19th century that the movement coalesced and gathered strength. People were growing somewhat weary of the studied refinement and glittering sophistications of that charming but exacting life whose tone was set by the Parisian elite, and there was now much talk of a return to simplicity, to a more naive and primitive way of living. Religious faith had weakened and the much-vaunted pleasures of the intellect were beginning to pall; thus many sought to find compensation in the thrills of the mysterious and terrifying, the dark side of man and nature.

It was in England that two highly original artists, Blake and Fuseli, applied themselves to bodying forth their eerie visions and, drawing as they did on the unconscious, they pointed the way to Surrealism. In Spain, too, at the same time in his paintings and engravings Goya was depicting the monsters and phantasmagoria that obsessed his dreams.

Contributed by Gifford, Katya


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