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What aspects of Realism ran counter to the perceptions and beliefs of the Romantics? How did the Realist credo manifest itself in the paintings of von Menzel, Kollwitz, and Courbet, and the novels of Dickens and Flaubert?

  • Select one of the topics listed below.

    Your essay should be double spaced and 1000-1200 words in length.

    • First paragraph: introduction with thesis statement.
    • Last paragraph: conclusion summarizing key points and restating the thesis statement.
    • Middle paragraphs (three or more): should each contain a topic sentence with relevant facts to support your informed opinion.
    • Essay must be created as a Word (.doc or .docx) or Rich Text (.rtf) file.

    Compose a written response of 1000-1200 words that fully answers the question(s) asked. This essay should represent your personal reaction and opinions related to the material (philosophy, art, literature, religion) covered in the course. If you include quoted or paraphrased information in your response, you must properly cite and reference the original source(s) using MLA Style.

    The essay will be graded according to the Essay Grading Form (below). You should evaluate your essay against the grading criteria contained in the Essay Grading Form before submitting your completed essay.

    1. Watch the 1991 film Impromptu (Links to an external site.) about the life and times of Frédéric Chopin and George Sand. [PLEASE NOTE: The Google Chrome web browser does not support this video site. You will need to view the video using Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari. It will ask you to download/allow/update “Silverlight” you will need to allow this in order to view the video. If the link does not work then you will need to find an alternate source for the movie if you choose this topic.]  Describe and explain the significance of at least three specific ways in which Frédéric Chopin and George Sand defied conventional standards. Also, discuss the impact their personal choices had on the overall reaction to their work by the society in which they lived.

    2. “The key to Romanticism is feeling intense experience.” Discuss in relation to any aspects of the Romantic art and music of the nineteenth century. Include your analysis of at least three works of nineteenth century Romantic art and/or music in your response. Be sure your chosen works are examples of Romantic art (Chapters 27, 28 and 29).

    3. What aspects of Realism ran counter to the perceptions and beliefs of the Romantics? How did the Realist credo manifest itself in the paintings of von Menzel, Kollwitz, and Courbet, and the novels of Dickens and Flaubert?

    4. Mallarmé was considered a Symbolist poet, Debussy a composer who got his inspiration from Symbolists and Impressionists, Monet was the arguably first Impressionist painter, and Cézanne’s paintings moved from Impressionism to an even more modern style of art.  All of their works still had some Romantic aspects to them, however. In what ways might Mallarmé, Debussy, Monet, and Cézanne be called “the last of the Romantics”? Describe and explain citing specific examples from their poems, music or paintings.

    5. The American painter Robert Motherwell wrote: “The function of abstraction is to get rid of a lot of reality. You start with as much richness as you want, and subtract, and then you arrive at the residue of essences that you’re interested in.” How might you apply these words to the art of Picasso, Matisse, Brancusi, and Mondrian? Give each artist equal treatment in your response.

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