My absolute favorite movement in art is Romanticism. The most important element of Romanticism is an emphasis of emotion over logic. The viewer should have a sense of inspiration, the sublime, awe, or shock and horror. The paintings feed very grand and dramatic.
Before Romanticism, I had no appreciation for landscape paintings. I thought they were incredibly boring. I still believe most contemporary landscape paintings are unoriginal and uninspired. But when I see certain paintings, I meld into the moment and become part of the painting.
Or I start to imagine me rolling a Katamari over the hills and valleys collecting trees. (This really happened in a prestigious art gallery. I started to audibly giggle and smile and received dirty looks.)
What really interests me are the paintings with people as subjects. They range from political revolution to literary narratives. I love the dramatic compositions, the exaggerated poses, and the feeling of raw emotion. Which is exactly what i'd like to use more of in my work.
Here are a few of my favorite pieces:
"The Nightmare," Henry Fuseli.
"Liberty leading the people," Eugene Delacroix.
"The Oxbow," Thomas Cole.
"Niagara," Frederich Church.
Paintings aren't the only genre of Romanticism. There are also great writers you may have heard of, like Edgar Allen Poe, John Keats, Nathaniel Hawthorne, or Henry David Thoreau.
Romanticism was born as a revolt to the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.