In contrast to the usually very social art of the Enlightenment, Romantics were distrustful of the human world, and tended to believe a close connection with nature was mentally and morally healthy.
Romantic art addressed its audiences with what was intended to be felt as the personal voice of the artist.
It was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, The movement emphasized intense emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as apprehension, horror and terror, and awe—especially that experienced in confronting the new aesthetic categories of the sublimity and beauty of nature.
It elevated folk art and ancient custom to something noble, but also spontaneity as a desirable characteristic (as in the musical impromptu).
Not essential to Romanticism, but so widespread as to be normative, was a strong belief and interest in the importance of nature.
This particularly in the effect of nature upon the artist when he is surrounded by it, preferably alone.
The more precise characterization and specific definition of Romanticism has been the subject of debate in the fields of intellectual history and literary history throughout the 20th century, without any great measure of consensus emerging.
That it was part of the Counter-Enlightenment, a reaction against the Age of Enlightenment, is generally accepted in current scholarship.
Romanticism (also known as the Romantic era) was an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850.
Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical.