In contrast to the Rationalism and Classicism of the Enlightenment, Romanticism revived medievalism and elements of art and narrative perceived as authentically medieval in an attempt to escape population growth, early urban sprawl, and industrialism.
Although the movement was rooted in the German Sturm und Drang movement, which preferred intuition and emotion to the rationalism of the Enlightenment, the events and ideologies of the French Revolution were also proximate factors.
Romanticism (also the Romantic era or the Romantic period) 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.
The use of the word did not become general very quickly, and was probably spread more widely in France by its persistent use by Madame de Staël in her De l'Allemagne (1813), recounting her travels in Germany.
The concept of the genius, or artist who was able to produce his own original work through this process of creation from nothingness, is key to Romanticism, and to be derivative was the worst sin.
Not essential to Romanticism, but so widespread as to be normative, was a strong belief and interest in the importance of nature.
The early period of the Romantic Era was a time of war, with the French Revolution (1789–1799) followed by the Napoleonic Wars until 1815.
These wars, along with the political and social turmoil that went along with them, served as the background for Romanticism.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.