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Alfred de Musset
(Public domain)

Romanticism

This literary movement, which spread to all of the western world, was particularly important in France. Announced at the end of the Enlightenment by Rousseau, Mme de Staël and Chateaubriand, romanticism commenced in 1820 with the publication of Lamartine's "Meditations".

The characteristics of romanticism are the importance granted to the "self" and the theme of the "scourge of the century", that is to say the feeling of existential malaise felt by the two first generations of the 19th century.

Romanticism is not limited solely to literature, but equally applies to all forms of art, in particular painting. Victor Hugo, Alfred de Musset and Gérard de Nerval are among the figureheads of French literary romanticism.

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