On Modern American Art: Selected Essays

By Robert Rosenblum | Go to book overview

A POSTSCRIPT: SOME RECENT NEO-ROMANTIC MUTATIONS 1993

No one, I am certain, will ever define Romanticism clearly, but then, no one will ever be able to drive a stake through the heart of a word that, for want of a better one, we cannot refrain from using when we try to describe the protean range of new forms and feelings that emerge in the late eighteenth century. Considering that it may be called into service for both West and David, Goya and Blake, Friedrich and Delacroix, Canova and Rude, logicians could surely tell us that Romanticism means either much too much or nothing at all. Nevertheless, most of us in the business of history know that something shattering happened in the late eighteenth century--T. E.Hulme called it "spilt religion"--and that ever since, the shock waves have been registering with varying intensities on the Richter scales of art. The word, of course, is so slippery that it can accommodate even the most ostensibly anti- Romantic aspects of the modern movement, embracing every contradiction. What could be more Romantic than Mondrian's or Malevich's dream of purging painting of everything but a distilled abstract purity, as untainted by the seen, material world as, say, Flaxman's Homeric outlines? What could be more Romantic than the realization in 1927 of a harmonious community of low-budget houses in Stuttgart, a vision of social and aesthetic utopia in which geniuses as individual as Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe joined forces in a brotherhood of reformatory purpose and style whose pedigree could be traced back to the likes of the Nazarenes or the Pre-Raphaelites? What could be more Romantic than Picasso's or Matisse's espousal of African art in an effort to reach under and beyond those moribund Western traditions that Romantic artists as different as Ingres and Blake had already hoped to undermine in a search for more vital and therefore more archaic sources of art? If we choose, the semantic fire of the infinitely molten concepts evoked by Romanticism can ignite speculation about any art of the last two centuries. Nevertheless, the nostalgic revivalist mode of the last few decades, best characterized by a word--postmodernism--as ungraspable as Romanticism itself, but at least restricted in time to the later twentieth century (until perhaps we start using it retroactively to characterize, say, the "proto-postmodernism" of Reynolds's appropriations or Nash's witty architectural eclecticism), has turned up a diverse spectrum of art that, instead of looking forward to the Brave New Worlds promised by modernism and worshiping at the shrine of progress, appears to resurrect with irony or longing (or a mixture of the

-294-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
On Modern American Art: Selected Essays
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 386

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.