The term neo-romanticism is used to cover a variety of movements in philosophy, literature, music, painting, and architecture, as well as social movements, that exist after and incorporate elements from the era of Romanticism. It has been used with reference to late-19th-century composers such as Richard Wagner particularly by Carl Dahlhaus who describes his music as "a late flowering of romanticism in a positivist age". He regards it as synonymous with "the age of Wagner", from about 1850 until 1890—the start of the era of modernism, whose leading early representatives were Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler (Dahlhaus 1979, 98–99, 102, 105). It has been applied to writers, painters, and composers who rejected, abandoned, or opposed realism, naturalism, or avant-garde modernism at various points in time from about 1840 down to the present.

Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal one of the points of reference for Neo-Romantic architecture

Late 19th century and early 20th century

Neo-romanticism as well as Romanticism is considered in opposition to naturalism—indeed, so far as music is concerned, naturalism is regarded as alien and even hostile (Dahlhaus 1979, 100). In the period following German unification in 1871, naturalism rejected Romantic literature as a misleading, idealistic distortion of reality. Naturalism in turn came to be regarded as incapable of filling the "void" of modern existence. Critics such as Hermann Bahr, Heinrich Mann, and Eugen Diederichs came to oppose naturalism and materialism under the banner of "neo-romanticism", demanding a cultural reorientation responding to "the soul’s longing for a meaning and content in life" that might replace the fragmentations of modern knowledge with a holistic world view (Kohlenbach 2009, 261).

Late 20th century

"Neo-romanticism" was proposed as an alternative label for the group of German composers identified with the short-lived Neue Einfachheit movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Along with other phrases such as "new tonality", this term has been criticised for lack of precision because of the diversity among these composers, whose leading member is Wolfgang Rihm (Hentschel 2006, 111).





In British art history, the term "neo-romanticism" is applied to a loosely affiliated school of landscape painting that emerged around 1930 and continued until the early 1950s. It was first labeled in March 1942 by the critic Raymond Mortimer in the New Statesman. These painters looked back to 19th-century artists such as William Blake and Samuel Palmer, but were also influenced by French cubist and post-cubist artists such as Pablo Picasso, André Masson, and Pavel Tchelitchew (Clark and Clarke 2001; Hopkins 2001). This movement was motivated in part as a response to the threat of invasion during World War II. Artists particularly associated with the initiation of this movement included Paul Nash, John Piper, Henry Moore, Ivon Hitchens, and especially Graham Sutherland. A younger generation included John Minton, Michael Ayrton, John Craxton, Keith Vaughan, Robert Colquhoun, and Robert MacBryde (Button 1996).

Western Europe

The aesthetic philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche has contributed greatly to neo-romantic thinking.

Eastern Europe




Beginning in the mid-1930s and continuing through World War II, a Japanese neo-romantic literary movement was led by the writer Yasuda Yojūrō (Torrance 2010, 66).

See also

Modern manifestations


  • Button, Virginia. 1996. "Neo-Romanticism". Dictionary of Art, 34 volumes, edited by Jane Turner. New York: Grove’s Dictionaries. ISBN 9781884446009.
  • Clarke, Michael, and Deborah Clarke. 2001. "Neo-Romanticism". The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Dahlhaus, Carl. 1979. "Neo-Romanticism". 19th-Century Music 3, no. 2 (November): 97–105.
  • Hentschel, Frank. 2006. "Wie neu war die 'Neue Einfachheit'?" Acta Musicologica 78, no. 1:111–31.
  • Hopkins, Justine. 2001. "Neo-Romanticism". The Oxford Companion to Western Art, edited by Hugh Brigstocke. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-866203-7.
  • Kohlenbach, Margarete. 2009. “Transformations of German Romanticism 1830–2000”. In The Cambridge Companion to German Romanticism, edited by Nicholas Saul, 257–80. Cambridge Companions to Literature. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521848916.
  • Torrance, Richard. 2010. "The People’s Library: The Spirit of Prose Literature Versus Fascism". In The Culture of Japanese Fascism, edited by Alan Tansman, 56–79. Asia-Pacific: Culture, Politics, and Society. Duke University Press. ISBN 9780822390701.

Further reading


  • Ackroyd, Peter. 2002. The Origins of the English Imagination.
  • Arnold, Graham. 2003. The Ruralists: A Celebration.
  • Michael Bracewell. 1997. England Is Mine.
  • Cannon-Brookes, P. 1983. The British Neo-Romantics.
  • Corbett, Holt, and Russell (eds.). 2002. The Geographies of Englishness: Landscape and the National Past, 1880-1940.
  • Martin, Christopher. 1992. The Ruralists (An Art & Design Profile, No. 23).
  • Martin, Simon. 2008. Poets in the Landscape: The Romantic Spirit in British Art.
  • Johnson and Landow (Eds). 1980. Fantastic Illustration and Design in Great Britain, 1850–1930. Cambridge: The MIT Press.
  • Mellor, David. 1987. Paradise Lost: The Neo-Romantic Imagination in Britain, 1935–1955.
  • Picot, Edward. 1997. Outcasts from Eden: Ideas of Landscape in British Poetry Since 1945.
  • Sillars, S. 1991. British Romantic Art and The Second World War.
  • Trentmann, F. 1994. Civilisation and its Discontents: English Neo-Romanticism and the Transformation of Anti-Modernism in Twentieth-Century Western Culture. London: Birkbeck College.
  • Woodcock, Peter. 2000. This Enchanted Isle: The Neo-Romantic Vision from William Blake to the New Visionaries.
  • Yorke, Malcolm. 1988. The Spirit of the Place: Nine Neo-Romantic Artists and Their Times. London: Constable & Company Limited. Paperback reprint, London and New York: Tauris Parke Paperbacks, 2001. ISBN 1-86064-604-2.


  • Brajendranath Seal. 1903. "The Neo-Romantic Movement in Literature". In New Essays in Criticism.

External links

Aleksandar Đokić

Aleksandar Đokić (Serbian Cyrillic: Александар Ђокић; 28 December 1936–22 May 2002) was a Serbian architect who gained fame for his original designs created in the Brutalist and postmodernist styles. He graduated from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Architecture.

A native of the Serbian capital, Belgrade, Aleksandar Đokić has designed numerous structures and edifices considered to be straddling the boundary between post-Modern and neo-Romantic architecture. His most-publicized creation, the Center of Norwegian-Yugoslav Friendship in the Rudnik-Vujan mountain town of Gornji Milanovac, has been compared to the works of his younger Japanese contemporary, Makoto Sei Watanabe, who incorporates tigers and dragons into his art, as Đokić has included Serbian log cabins and Norsemen boats into his designs for the Center.Aleksandar Đokić died in Belgrade at the age of 65.

Anđelka Bego-Šimunić

Anđelka Bego-Šimunić (born 23 October 1941) is a Bosnian composer. She teaches at the Sarajevo Music Academy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

She studied composition at the academy under Ivan Brkanović and Miroslav Špiler, earning a master's degree in 1973. Afterwards, she taught theory at the secondary music school in Sarajevo. She joined the staff of the academy in 1975, and later became assistant (1985) and full professor at the academy, where her students include Igor Karaca. From 1986-92 she was president of the Bosnian composers’ association (1986–1992) and one of the principal organizers of the Days of Musical Creation festival.

Her music is mostly neo-classical in style, influenced by Sergei Prokofiev's extended tonality and treatment of form, with elements of neo-romanticism, particularly in the style of Franz Liszt, and early Expressionism. Her works occasionally refer to Bosnian folklore.


Chhayavaad (Hindi: छायावाद) (approximated in English as "Romanticism", literally "Shaded") refers to the era of Neo-romanticism in Hindi literature, particularly Hindi poetry, 1922–1938, and was marked by an upsurge of romantic and humanist content. Chhayavad was marked by a renewed sense of the self and personal expression, visible in the writings of time. It is known for its leaning towards themes of love and nature, as well as an individualistic reappropriation of the Indian tradition in a new form of mysticism, expressed through a subjective voice.


Chłopomania (Polish: [xwɔpɔˈmaɲja]) or Khlopomanstvo (Ukrainian: Хлопоманство, IPA: [xlopoˈmɑnstβo]) are historical and literary terms inspired by the Young Poland modernist movement and the Ukrainian Hromady. The expressions refer to the intelligentsia's fascination with, and interest in, the peasantry in late-19th-century Galicia and right-bank Ukraine.

Though originally used in jest, with time the renewed interest in folk traditions influenced the national revivals in Poland and Ukraine, both ruled by foreign empires. "Peasant-mania", a manifestation of both neo-romanticism and populism, arose during Galicia's rule by Austria–Hungary and touched both Poles and Ukrainians. It also manifested itself in the Russian Empire, where it strongly contributed to the shaping of modern Ukrainian culture.

George Warner Allen

George Warner Allen (1916–1988) was a British artist, considered to be of the Neo-Romantic school.

Jaishankar Prasad

Jaishankar Prasad (30 January 1890 – 15 November 1937) was a famed figure in modern Hindi literature as well as Hindi theatre.

Jotie T'Hooft

Johan Geeraard Adriaan T'Hooft (9 May 1956 – 6 October 1977) was a Flemish Belgian neo-romantic poet. He is well known for his hippie/junkie lifestyle, death-related poetry and early death at age 21 from a drug-related suicide. These elements have made him a legend in his native country. His life and death by overdose were made into a movie, the English title Junkie's Sorrow.


Madhushala (Hindi: मधुशाला) (The Tavern/The House of Wine) is a book of 135 "quatrains": verses of four lines (Ruba'i) by Hindi poet and writer Harivansh Rai Bachchan (1907–2003). The highly metaphorical work is still celebrated for its deeply Sufi incantations and philosophical undertones and is an important work in the Chhayavaad (Neo-romanticism) literary movement of early 20th century Hindi literature.

All the rubaaiaa (the plural for rubaai) end in the word madhushala. The poet tries to explain the complexity of life with his four instruments, which appear in almost every verse: madhu, madira or haala (wine), saaki (server), pyaala (cup or glass) and of course madhushala, madiralaya (pub/bar).

The publication of the work in 1935 brought Harivanshrai Bachchan instant fame, and his own recitation of the poems became a "craze" at poetry symposiums.Madhushala was part of his trilogy inspired by Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat, which he had earlier translated into Hindi. The other titles in the trilogy were Madhubala (मधुबाला) (1936) and Madhukalash मधुकलश) (1937).


Maestoso (Italian pronunciation: [ma.eˈstoːzo]) is an Italian musical term and is used to direct performers to play a certain passage of music in a stately, dignified and majestic fashion (sometimes march-like) or, it is used to describe music as such.Maestoso also is associated with the advent of Classicism, Romanticism, and the newer forms of Neo-Classicism and Neo-Romanticism. The interpretation of maestoso is varied by the conductor depending upon the overall style in which the piece is written. Used as more of an interpretive choice, this term is not always associated with a specific tempo or tempo range.

Makhanlal Chaturvedi

Pandit Makhanlal Chaturvedi (4 April 1889 – 30 January 1968), also called Pandit ji, was an Indian poet, writer, essayist, playwright and a journalist who is particularly remembered for his participation in India's national struggle for independence and his contribution to Chhayavaad, the Neo-romanticism movement of Hindi literature. He was awarded the first Sahitya Akademi Award in Hindi for his work Him Taringini in 1955. The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan in 1963.

Neoromanticism (music)

Neoromanticism in music is a return (at any of several points in the nineteenth or twentieth centuries) to the emotional expression associated with nineteenth-century Romanticism. Since the mid-1970s the term has come to be identified with neoconservative postmodernism, especially in Germany, Austria, and the United States, with composers such as Wolfgang Rihm and George Rochberg. Currently active US-based composers widely described as neoromantic include David Del Tredici and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (Pasler 2001). Francis Poulenc and Henri Sauguet were French composers considered neoromantic while Virgil Thomson, Nicolas Nabokov, and Douglas Moore were American composers considered neoromantic (Thomson 2002, 268).

New Romantic

The New Romantic movement was a pop culture movement that originated in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s. The movement emerged from the nightclub scene in London and Birmingham at venues such as Billy's and The Blitz. The New Romantic movement was characterized by flamboyant, eccentric fashion inspired by fashion boutiques such as Kahn and Bell in Birmingham and PX in London. Early adherents of the movement were often referred to by the press by such names as Blitz Kids, New Dandies and Romantic Rebels.Influenced by David Bowie, Marc Bolan and Roxy Music, it developed glam rock and historical fashions, gaining its name from the styles of the early Romantic period. Several music acts at the start of the 1980s adopted the style of the movement and became known to epitomise it within the music and mainstream press, including Steve Strange (of Visage), Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, A Flock of Seagulls, Classix Nouveaux and Boy George (of Culture Club). Ultravox were also often identified as New Romantics by the press although they did not exhibit the same visual styles of the movement, despite their link to the band Visage.[1] Japan and Adam and the Ants were also labeled as New Romantic artists by the press, although both repudiated this and neither had any direct connection to the original scene. A number of these bands adopted synthesizers and helped to develop synth-pop in the early 1980s, which, combined with the distinctive New Romantic visuals, helped them first to national success in the UK, and then, via MTV, play a major part in the Second British Invasion of the U.S. charts.

By the end of 1981, the original movement had largely dissipated and, although some of the artists associated with the scene continued their careers, they had largely abandoned the aesthetics of the movement. There were attempts to revive the movement from the 1990s, including the short-lived romo movement.


The Siuru literary movement, named after a fire-bird in Finno-Ugrian mythology, was founded in 1917 in Estonia. It was an expressionistic and neo-romantic movement that ran counter to the Young Estonia formalist tradition.

Sophus Claussen

Sophus Claussen (12 September 1865 Helletofte – 11 April 1931 Gentofte) was a Danish writer. He is best remembered for his neo-romanticism poems.

Toomas Nipernaadi

Toomas Nipernaadi is an influential 1928 Estonian novel by August Gailit, as well as the (assumed) name of the novel's protagonist. It was strongly influenced by neo-romanticism. The story of the book was made into a film titled Nipernaadi in 1983.

Ukrainian national revival

The Ukrainian National Revival (Ukrainian: Українське національне відродження) took place during a historical period of time when the territory of modern Ukraine was divided between the Austrian Empire and the Russian Empire after the partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century. The period took place soon after the Haidamaka Uprisings (also known as Koliivshchyna) rocked lands of former Cossack Hetmanate.

It was a period when the Ukrainian national resistance was almost entirely subjugated and went completely underground. All the state institutions of the Cossack Hetmanate were completely liquidated along with the Cossack movement. The European territory of the Russian Empire had successfully crossed the Dnieper and extended towards the Central Europe as well as reaching the shores of Black Sea.

Nonetheless, the period also is considered to be the beginning of the modern Ukrainian literature among which first were works of Ivan Kotliarevsky. Number of Ukrainian historians such as Volodymyr Doroshenko and Mykhailo Hrushevsky divided that period in three stages. The first stage stretches from the end of the 18th century to 1840s. The second stage covers period of 1840s-1850s. The third period is the second half of the 19th century.

Wojciech Gerson

Wojciech Gerson (July 1, 1831 – February 25, 1901) was a leading Polish painter of the mid-19th century, and one of the foremost representatives of the Polish school of Realism during the foreign Partitions of Poland. He served as long-time professor of the School of Fine Arts in Warsaw, and taught future luminaries of Polish neo-romanticism including Józef Chełmoński, Leon Wyczółkowski, Władysław Podkowiński, Józef Pankiewicz and Anna Bilińska-Bohdanowiczowa among others. He also wrote art-reviews and published a book of anatomy for the artists. A large number of his paintings were stolen by Nazi Germany in World War II, and never recovered.

Young Estonia

Young Estonia (Noor-Eesti) was a neo-romantic literary group established around 1905 and led by the poet Gustav Suits and short story writer Friedebert Tuglas. Other members of the group included Villem Grünthal-Ridala and Johannes Aavik. Gustav Suits articulated the ideology of the group thus:

"What buoys up and exalts humanity is education. Our slogan is: More culture! More European culture! Let us remain Estonians, but let us become Europeans too. We want to discover the ideas and forms towards which we are impelled by our national spirit, character, and needs on the one hand, and by European culture on the other."

The group's aesthetic programme followed the trends of Finnish, French, German, Scandinavian and Italian literature of the time, comprising elements of Impressionism, Symbolism and Expressionism. The 1917 Russian Revolution dispersed members of the movement, with some fleeing into exile. The group also functioned as a publishing house and published five Young Estonia anthologies between 1905 and 1915.

Young Poland

Young Poland (Polish: Młoda Polska) was a modernist period in Polish visual arts, literature and music, covering roughly the years between 1890 and 1918. It was a result of strong aesthetic opposition to the earlier ideas of Positivism which followed the suppression of the 1863 January Uprising against the occupying army of Imperial Russia. Młoda Polska promoted trends of decadence, neo-romanticism, symbolism, impressionism and art nouveau.

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