William Blake, born 28th November 1757 in England, Was a painter, poet, and printmaker. Mainly unrecognized during his lifetime, Blake is now regarded as an influential persona in the history of both the visual and poetic arts of the Romantic Age.

Considered mad by his generation for his peculiar views, Blake is held in high esteem by critics later on for his expressive nature, creativity, and for the mystical and philosophical undertones within his work. His poetry and paintings have been classified as part of both the Romantic Movement and "Pre-Romantic" for its large appearance in the 18th century.

The following are some of the characteristics that helped qualify his work as part of the movement:  the belief in the supernatural and inclusion in his works, the great emphasis on nature especially that of country life and finally, the exuberance of emotion, feelings, instinct and intuition in his work.


Washington Allston was born in near plantation near Waccamaw River, George Town, North Carolina in the United States of America. He was named in honor of leading American generals in the Revolution. He began to draw when he was six.

When he was eight, he went to Newport, Rhode Island. Where he attended a classical school, Newport Academy, he later went to Harvard College where he graduated in 1800. He moved to London in 1801 becoming a student of Benjamin west at the royal Academy. He met his lifelong friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Italy while touring. Another of his notable friends was Samuel F B Morse, the inventor of Morse code.

After traveling throughout Western Europe, Allston settled in London, where he won prizes fame and for his paintings. He was considered the pioneer of the Romantic Movement in the United States especially because of his landscape artwork which consisted of dramatic subject matter and a bold use of light and atmospheric color.

Joseph Mallord William Turner was born in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden in London on the 23rd of April 1775. He was an English Romantic, landscape painter, watercolorist and printmaker. He first expressed an interest in painting in 1785. He attended a school in Margate on the north-east Kent coast in 1786 by which time Turner had created many drawings. His father exhibited most of them in his shop window. In 1789, at the age of 14, he entered the Royal Academy of Art schools, and was accepted into the academy a year later


Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day, but is now regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivaling history painting. The lavish praise awarded to him by influential English art critic John rushkin helped spur his popularity. Rushkin argued that modern landscape painters and in particular Turner were superior to the so-called "Old Masters" of the post-Renaissance period. Such a claim was contentious, principally because Turner's semi-abstract works were being censured by some critics as meaningless splatters

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Realism often refers specifically to the artistic movement, which began in France in the 1850s. These realists sited themselves against romanticism. The three main characteristics are: Truth and accuracy; Realism strives for absolute accuracy in the portrayal of its themes, free of any unnecessary theatricals or artistic affectation. Independence; Realism stresses the autonomy of objects from their viewer. They have a life separate from anything else. Ordinariness; The focus of realist works are defined not by their extraordinary nature, but by how ordinary they are.


Artists synonymous with the realist movement include Gustave Courbet; Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet, Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardi's Woman Cleaning Turnips and Ilya Repin's; they did not Expect Him.

Impressionism was a 19th century movement that came to being as a loose association to Paris based whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence. This name was derived from the painting; Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant), by Claude Monet.

Characteristics of Impressionist paintings include relatively small, thin, and visible brush strokes, portrayed in Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Girl with a Hoop, emphasis on the accurate portrayal of light in its changing persona often emphasizing the effects of time passage this is clearly depicted in Alfred Sisley'painting; View of the Saint-Martin Canal, Paris, and the inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception this is clearly shown by Edgar Degas' Dancers at The Bar.

Neo-Impressionism describes a movement founded by Georges Seurat. It found its roots in his masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Divisionism is defined by the separation of colors into dots which interact optically hence requiring the viewer to combine the colors optically instead of the painter physically mixing pigments. Seurat's theories perplexed many of his generation. Other artists seeking opposition to Impressionism joined the Neo-Impressionist movement. Paul Signac, became one of the main supporters of divisionism, especially after Seurat's death. His painting; Portrait of Félix Fénéon clearly shows this.


The painting style used for pointillist color mixing is at the cost of the traditional brushwork used to outline texture. Majority of pointillist paintings are done in oil paints. Anything may replace it, but oils are preferred for their tendency not to run or bleed and their thickness as seen in the painting; Afternoon at Pardigon by Henri-Edmond Cross.

Impressionist paintings, were characterized by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, that can be seen in Claude Monet's, Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise) While post impressionist paintings were characterized by the systematic use of tiny dots of color to distort form for expressive effect. This is clearly illustrated by Camille Pissarro's, Haying at Eragny.

Post-Impressionists extended Impressionism by the continued use vivid colors, thick application of paint, distinctive brush strokes, and real-life subject matter. This is clearly depicted in Vincent van Gogh's The Red Vineyard.


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