Everyone who enjoyed watching the first episode of The Romantic Spirit,
titled "The Romantic Explosion," will also enjoy viewing this, the third show in the series (though the second in the original French broadcast), "Paradise Lost."
This episode focusses on the Romantics' love of the natural world, and thus features some of the most stirring visuals of the entire series: scenes of rocky coastlines, pounding surf, alpine bluffs, and dramatic skies. It vividly illustrates the difference between classical and Romantic aesthetics by contrasting the clipped, manicured, ordered gardens of the 18th century--like the grounds at Versailles--with the wild, natural gardens that appeared in Europe at the end of the 18th century. Called "English Gardens" on the continent (owing to the fact that their design originated in Britain), these Romantic gardens gave nature free reign, with dark forests interspersed by irregular clearings, and dotted here and there with picturesque ruins--even, in some cases, brand-new structures that were designed as
ruins, to resemble the evocative relics of the ancient world.
This installment of The Romantic Spirit
also presents a fine contrast between the masculine and the feminine, the Sublime and the Beautiful. In our "Natural Ideal" thread
from last year, we described how plus-size-model tests achieve the highest aesthetic effect when they are enhanced by natural settings. That thread focussed on the Beautiful conception of nature, which is exemplified by flowers, meadows, and lush parkland, all evoking the distinctively feminine, 18th-century, classical aesthetic. Romanticism, on the other hand, celebrates the Sublime conception of nature, with craggy peaks and stern, wild, imposing vistas showing nature at its most ominous and threatening--a quintessentially masculine aesthetic.
We hope that you continue to enjoy this series, which so effectively showcases the Sublime Weltanschauung of the Romantic Era, in contrast to the Beautiful aesthetic that is the regular focus of the Judgment of Paris.