Romanticism is a complex period that show different features depending on the country where it is developped. In Spain Romanticism is a feeling rather than a thought. We have to consider the historical events on wich it is projected. Arrival of Napoleon troops in Peninsule will provoke Spanish Independence War: it is a typical romantic war.
As Romantic movement begins, many spanish artists will cultivate the different aspects of this new cultural chapter.
One of the most outstanding authors in this gender was Federico de Madrazo (1815-1894). He is seen as one of the most important portraitists in spanish Romanticism as well as in the whole Europe. We can appreciate from his works a perfection in drawing and a psychological study of persons. His production is numerous: he painted hundreds of portraits. He was a chamber painter and, twice, a director of Prado Museum.
Antonio Esquivel (1806-1857) was also an important portraitist, born in Seville. We can observe in his works an academic touch. He gave his creatures a sentimentalism according with romantic ideals.
Landscape is another typical gender in Romanticism. Nature is useful for painters to project freely their feelings and subjectivity.
Before Romanticism, landscape appeared as a background for portraits or pictures on History, specially in Barroque. Objects without a didactic purpose were not considered as art. Now, in 19th century, landscape becomes a new gender as important as picture on History.
One of the most important artists was Jenaro López de Villamil (1807-1854). He used for his landscapes a nervous and pasted touch of brush in order to get softer and more delicate atmospheres.
3º.- painting on Customs:
The so-called Romantic Art on Customs is representated by "brave vein" painters as Eugenio Lucas (1858-1918) and Leonardo Alenza (1807-1845). They take Goya as a master and keep a popular ambiance of brave girls, bandits, bullfightings, toreros, inquisitorial acts and sorcerers.
Their touch of brush looks like a sketch full of chromatic matter, pointing to Impressionism.
4º.- Historical painting:
This gender was developped not only in Romanticism, but also in Barroque and Neoclassicism, as is shown in David matters. Canvas on History are usually of a big size. About the second half of 19th century the gender achieves a singular importance. That was due to competions organized by St. Fernando Academy and other National Exhibitions. Historical subjects are often a cause for winning a medal.
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