Perspectives on Painting and Poetry during the Romantic Period

Lessing's life and comments on Laocoon.In Greek legend, a seer and a priest of the god Apollo; he was the son of Agenor of Troy or, according to some, the brother of Anchises (the father of the hero Aeneas). Laocoön offended Apollo by breaking his oath of celibacy and begetting children. Thus, while preparing to sacrifice a bull on the altar of the god Poseidon (a task that had fallen to him by lot), Laocoön and his twin sons, Antiphas and Thymbraeus (also called Melanthus), were crushed to death by two great sea serpents, Porces and Chariboea (or Curissia or Periboea), sent by Apollo. An additional reason for his punishment was that he had warned the Trojans against accepting the wooden horse left by the Greeks. The legend found its most famous expressions in Virgil's Aeneid (ii, 109 et seq.) and in the Laocoön statue (now in the Vatican Museum) by three Rhodian sculptors, Agesander, Polydorus, and Athenodorus, dating probably from the 2nd century BC.

"The Wanderer"

Casper David Friedrich is the greatest German romantic painter and one of the most original landscape painters in the history of the genre. He pursued with single-mindedness his personal insight into the spiritual significance of landscape, often breaking new ground with his choice of subjects. Though seldom using obvious religious imagery, his landscapes unfailingly convey a sense of haunting spirituality. For further detail regarding the interaction of painting and the development of Romantic drama, click here. See also Piranesi.

John Mallard WilliamTurner adds the color of light to perception of ordinary scenes. His work is particularly inspired by Shelley's and Lord Byron's poetry.

Constable depicts rainbow near the heath.

Johann Heinrich Fuseli's vision of a nightmare. Or below his depiction of the Three Weird Sisters.

Visit the fascinating Byron through the visionary world of Eugene Delacroix

Delacroix depicted many of Byron's dramatic moments.

For depictions of many of Martin's paintings, see John Martin and see John Martin's biography and more information on his work

J. M. W. Turner--an excellent biography with links to his art work

Turner's "Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons--1844