The word ”romance” means adventure, and it is often connected with love. But it was a feeling of freedom, yearning and returning to what’s natural that characterised this era.  


“Brudeferd i Hardanger” is made by Tidemann and Gude. It is a typical painting from the romanticism.  

Origin in Europe:

The era began at the beginning of the century and ended around 1850. It came to existence in France around 17th century, and it spread to the rest of Europe. After the French revolution, people sought a renewal within art and culture, and the new direction was as far from the dreaded classicism as possible. They sought back to the natural and both literature and art became more romantic, and the new era held people together. Rosseau was prominent for the origin of the romanticism. He also played an important part in the French revolution.       

Origin in Norway:

The romanticism did not really begin until the 1830. By then, the era was almost finished in the rest of the continent. It was replaced in 1850, but the national romanticism (which is a subgroup of the romanticism) came in 1840. The reason for the late arrival in Norway was that the romanticism was a reaction to classical ideals that did not yet exist in Norway. So saying; they had nothing to react to. The national self-esteem was low, because of the union with Denmark and they had no desire for a renewal. People also lived in rather good conditions and did not complain. But in 1814 this changed. Denmark agreed to give Norway to the Swedes. In protest, Norway broke apart from Denmark. They hastily wrote a constitution and held an election. This contributed to create the solidarity that they so profoundly had laced for the last 300 years, and that obstructed the revolution. There was a lot of jabber of doing like the French, but everyone held their tongue when Sweden occupied Norway. It was not until 1830 that these rebellious feelings once more lit up. 

What is romanticism? 

The romanticism values fantasy, feelings, nature and everyday life. After the age of enlightenment in 1700 people longed for other sides of the human life- the one that was related to feelings. And it where not supposed to agree with reason. Again people got a dualistic image of the world, and with that, they once more brought up Platon’s theory. Dualism is two different polars, and there where two opposite principals (good evil). This led to the authors “separation” of body and soul. It was a period characterized by nationalism, where your own nation was glorified. There was a strong belief in the spirit. There was a world spirit that bound all souls together and they believed that the artist (the creative soul) was closest to God. People where not that materialistic but they had a strong sense of freedom (which after all is the source of this period).       

New artists / artforms:

There were a lot of talented musicians during this era. In Norway we had Ole Bull, Sindig and Grieg. The opera adopted new dimensions and a new music form came to life; the opprett. An opprett is an opera, but it is “smaller” and the melody is more public minded.    

Published on February 26, 2008 at 11:13 am  Leave a Comment  

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