chapter  3
25 Pages

The Nineteenth Century

ByKatherine Hoffman

With the rise of Romanticism in the early nineteenth century, the supremacy of reason during the Enlightenment was challenged. Romanticism's emphasis on the individual, on nature, and on creativity could, cause some cracks in a family structure, but it also emphasized the image of the child growing like a flower, needing nourishment, and ultimately blossoming. Romanticism was an idealistic state of mind, the belief that a better world was possible through its principles. Victorian family photographs and albums became part of a social face, in which all classes wanted to appear ordered and that would be preserved for generations to come. The cycles of life and the depiction of multiple generations became more important in the second half of the nineteenth century in the United States. The psychological underpinnings of family tensions and relationships found in Degas's Bellelli Family were carried further by Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.