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By the mid-18th-century, when Rococo art had reached its absolute zenith, a phase of radical artistic transformation begins. The discovery and archaeological exploration of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum as well as first grand tours to Greece lead to a renewed interest in the art of Antiquity. The “noble simplicity and quiet grandeur” perceived in this art is experienced as a beneficial and necessary relief from the art of the Baroque and Rococo which is now seen as degenerate. This development is enhanced by the rational philosophy of Enlightenment. Romanticism, however, evolves as a counter-movement to Neo-Classical art. Not reason but emotion and intuition are in great demand. Contemplation of the “primitive” in the natural world, spiritualism, and an appetite for mystery and wonder but also an interest in the long gone past such as the Middle Ages are in the centre of cultural interest. This artistic diversity of the period between roughly 1750 and c. 1820/30 is the focus of the last study day in this series.
Specialising in mediaeval art and in cultural politics of post-war Germany at the universities of Regensburg and Aberdeen, Dr Ulrike Ziegler is a well-respected member of Art Pursuits Abroad and has lectured at universities and for multiple cultural institutions, along with organising and leading many study tours in both Germany and Austria. Ulrike is now working on Art Pursuits Abroad’s German programme.
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