Liberty, The Ordinary and the Extraordinary

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Liberty, the Ordinary and the Extraordinary

Individualism is the expression of one self, putting emphasis on each person as an existent being, not as a whole group. It is about having pride in your own self while respecting the ideas of those around you. Both Romanticism and Realism focused on individualism; however, they focused on this concept in two very different ways. During the early 19th century, romantic artists were inspired by passion, nature, eroticism and sensuality, often incorporating mystical and supernatural creatures into their artwork. Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863), a famous romantic artist, expressed individualism through his moving paintings, such as Liberty Leading the People. His use of expressive brushstrokes, and exotic colors help to accurately depict the context of the paintings and allow his viewers to experience a strong aesthetically pleasing experience. Realist artists, in the second half of the 19th century, were inspired by what was in front of them, the beauty of the objective world. Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), the legendary realist artist conveyed individualism through many of his paintings. Courbet was an individualist himself. His paintings focused on the harshness in life, and by doing this he challenged the ideas of existing academic art. The ideas of individualism transitioned through romanticism and became even more prominent during the realism art period.

“The key to Romanticism according to Baudelaire, was not the subject matter or even truth itself, but feeling that you should listen to that inner voice, and that alone would give art it’s merit” (Educational Broadcasting Corporation [DVD], 1989, 49:07). The inner voice that Baudelaire mentions is one of the main themes of romanticism;...

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...vidual means that you are free, and it means that you have liberty, it also means that the ordinary is extraordinary.

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Educational Broadcasting Corporation. (Producer). (1989). An Age of Reason, An Age of Passion [DVD]. Available from

Eugene Delacroix. (2002-2012).

Gustave Courbet. (2002-2012).

Lawall, S., Patterson, L., Spacks, P. M., Thalmann, W. G., & James, H. (2006). The Norton Anthology of Western Literature (8th ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

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Sublime (philosophy). (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved February 13, 2012, from

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (2000-2012).
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