At the start of the 19th century, Napoleon was defeated along with his militaristic agenda, and Europe now entered many new phases of social reform. Industrialization had slowly provided much of Europe a new means of production and architecture. Artwork during this era reflected the new technology in paintings often depicting men, women, and even children working in factories. In an engraving by Gustave Dore’ there is a somber tone to the perpetual grayness, and seemingly endless rows of housing that flow towards the distant smokestacks that were prominent during the mid-nineteenth century.
Urban population was growing in an attempt to be closer to the jobs provided by new industries. Despite the new technology the rise in population added to unemployment pressures along with a housing crisis in France and Germany. The standard of living for most workers was very poor, and this is portrayed in a painting by J. Leonard titled The Doctor for the Poor. The scene shows a destitute line of working class individuals waiting to see the doctor in an office that is dimly lit by natural light.
In contrast to artwork depicting the cultural challenges of the working class, Romanticism portrayed artist’s need to escape the reality of cramped urban society in an industrial age. Romantics such as Wodsworth, Schlegel, Chopin, Goya, and Delacroix illustrated their interests in religion and Na...
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...med to. Women were again at the fore front, but this time it was to sustain their individual nations throughout the course of war. Many women found themselves attending to medical affairs of soldiers while others ended up in factories manufacturing armaments to support the war effort. Despite the suffrage that women faced at this time there was a large majority that did support their nation.
In the end the war caused a loss of life that was in the millions across Europe and the economy had suffered greatly. The political landscape had changed in most of Europe to a more Democratic tone, and the task of rebuilding and strengthening nations began yet again. It wasn’t until the 1920’s that the art community, cultural lavishness, and prosperity returned, however this was short-lived before an economic depression and another world war ravaged most of the globe.
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