Romantic Art Cards

These Romantic Art Cards are printable and intended to be a tool to help you teach your kids about fine art.  The more we learn about something the more we see with a trained eye and understand with a trained mind.  The more we understand the more we enjoy the art.  And that is the real purpose of fine art, to bring pleasure and understanding.

Romantic Art Cards for kids

The Romantic period in art followed the Neoclassical period and preceded the Impressionist movement, spanning from about 1800 to 1850. Romanticism included many different styles and subjects for painting but was unified by a few characteristics, especially emotion, nature, and current events.

This is “The Fighting Temeraire” painted in 1839 by J.M.W. Turner, a British artist. It depicts a real event, the Temeraire, a heroic vessel that fought against Napoleon at Trafalgar, being towed up the Thames to be scrapped by the Navy. The painting represents the end of an era of tall sailing ships and heroic deeds and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. It is both nostalgic and patriotic.  Image from Wikimedia, public domain.

Romantic artists were trying to evoke feelings in their audience with the paintings they made. Often the subjects were making social or political statements. Even landscape paintings were intended to evoke feelings of regret, longing, or awe to the viewer. The movement was partially a reaction to the scientific dissection of the natural world, politics, and even human nature that had been underway for more than a century. It reverted to the emotions and instincts of mankind.

This is “Liberty Leading the People” by Eugene Delacroix, a French painter. It was painted in 1830, the same year another revolution rocked France. The scene is of a barricade where a working class boy waving pistols is joined by a bourgeois young man in a top hat and a student in a bicorne hat from the prestigious military school in Paris all following the ideal of liberty and equality, represented by the woman in the center holding aloft a French flag.  Image from Wikimedia, public domain.

Print these Romantic Art cards and descriptions onto white card stock. Cut the cards out on the solid lines.

Printable Romantic Art Cards for Art Appreciation - Layers of Learning

Help your kids become familiar with these paintings and artists by playing matching games, sorting the cards, and quizzing over them.

  1. Place the cards face down, with images in one group and description cards in another group. Choose one card from each group. Determine if they match. You can read the description of the painting to see if they do.
  2. Arrange the paintings in order of date. Which were painted first? Can you see a progression of techniques or style in the cards?
  3. Hold up an image card and see if your child can remember the title of the painting. After these are mastered, use the image cards to memorize the titles and artists together. Finally master the titles, artists, and a little information about the painting.
  4. Go online and find more art by the same artists. Can you tell which artist painted the piece just by looking at the style?

Additional Layers

  • Romantic artists nearly always were making social or political statements through their art.  Painting declined as photography rose in prominence.  Are photographs use the same way today, to make political or social statements?  Are they used by artists or by other groups?
  • Think about a modern day political or social issue.  How would you compose a visual representation and make a statement about it?
  • Romantic artists evoked emotion in their paintings, a reaction to the previous Neoclassical art movement which was very orderly and rational.   Compare the romantic art movement and the neoclassical art movement.  Which do you prefer and why?

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