Romanticism is an artistic movement occuring after French Revolution of 1789 as a response to Enlightenment principles and spread its momentum in France and Britain in the 19th century. The characteristics of artwork of Romanticism are highly articulated through its escape from rational thoughts and science. This movement adheres to emotional and psychological intensity. The emphasis of this movement also lies in the overwhelming landscape with 'its uncontrollable power, unpredictability, and potential for cataclysmic extremes which offer an alternative to the ordered world of Enlightenment thought'.
One of the influential artists of Romanticism is Albert Bierstadt – a German painter who moved to New Bedford – Massachusetts. He improved his painting expertise by going home back to Germany by painting Alpine landscapes. He produced lots of sketches of sceneris of mountains and rocks and continued painting the Western landscapes with 'highly romanticized details and dramatic lightings' for which he was very famous. His works were known to be highly priced.
One of the examples with Romanticism idealism is Looking down Yosemite Valley by Albert Bierstadt in 1865 In this painting, the sunset is deep in the background and reflects the peacefulness of the sunset in Yosemite Valley. Bierstadt's use of gradual lightings spreads in the painting and produces emotional mixtures of awe and wonder.
I chose Bierstadt's painting because this painting reminds me about the places I previously visited in Bangor, Maine where natural landscape was highly dominant. I remembered it was sunset time when I was there with a friend of mine. We both stopped there to enjoy the quietness and the late afternoon natural scenery. Some locals were also around and some tourists were, too. The awe-inducing effect of the natural surrounding in Bangor, Maine brought us relaxation – which we never enjoyed from the urban life.
In conclusion, paintings of natural landscapes by Bierstadt are truest reflection of nature, in my viewpoint, that brings me in-depth emotion of awe.