Resistance and persistence: on the fortunes and reciprocal international influences of French romanticism
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CitationJ Ribner. 2018. ""Resistance and Persistence: On the Fortunes and Reciprocal International Influences of French Romanticism"." Studies in Romanticism,
Resistance and Persistence: On the Fortunes and Reciprocal International Influences of French Romanticism Abstract This article addresses ambivalence toward Romanticism on the part of Romantic artists and writers active in France - a group that includes Heinrich Heine, Eugène Delacroix, Alfred de Musset and Théophile Gautier. In counterpoint, the argument sets forth the persistence of the Romantic legacy in the work of the ostensibly anti-Romantic Gustave Courbet. I contend that the unease of Romantics vis-à-vis Romanticism is inseparable from their quixotic quest to transgress convention; that, in the face of negation and ridicule, signal characteristics of the movement endured, affecting the outlook of even its most bitter enemies (e.g., the Catholic royalist writers associated with the paper L'Action française and their admirer, the London art critic and philosopher T.E. Hulme); that, in the art of Van Gogh and Rodin, new life was breathed into Romanticism through contact with its ostensible opposite, Realism; and that Romanticism continued to speak to the concerns of artists active long after the mid-nineteenth century. I conclude with a consideration of how the negative view of Romantic pathos fostered by twentieth-century Formalism has been challenged, since the 1950s, by revisionist art historians.