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Comparison Between Romanticism And Realism Based On Both Paintings (Essay Sample)


•Research on the Internet/at the SVA digital library (Artstor, MDID, Oxford Art Online) & find 2 artworks, one belonging to the period and style of Romanticism, another belonging to the period and style of Realism.
•Write 2 paragraphs for each, comparing and contrasting these artworks.
•The artworks can be of any genre and/or medium: painting (history painting, landscape, portrait, still life, etc.), sculpture, achritecture.
both the Romantic and the Realist artwork have to belong to the same genre and/or have something in common: subject matter, format/form, style, or technique.

•writing you compare & contrast analysis of the works chosen, in about 600 words (four paragraphs)

•Describe the topic/subject matter of the 2 works

•Analyze all particularly interesting elements of style & composition: line, color, shape, volume, construction of space, light and shade, background and foreground.

•What features make the first artwork a representative of Romanticism?

•What features make the second artwork a representative of Realism?

•How do these two art works differ from each other? How are they similar?

William Bell Scott Iron and Coal, 1855–60 Realism

Eugène Delacroix, The Death of Sardanapalus, 1827, Romanticism


History Painting
Date of submission
History Painting
History painting is a narrative story and genre in painting which elaborates a didactic connotation from a historical event to allegories with a depiction of splendid themes. This kind of genre is traced back to the pre-historic human that encompasses all the culture of humanity to date. Some of the well-known periods that history painting gained its meaning are the romanticism and the realism. At these points in time, artists strived to prove the point either by reasoning or by presenting the world in its own reality. History painting at those periods proved noble as a source of information through narration. The essay herein elaborates on the artistic historic paintings of romanticism using the death of Sardanapalus presented by Eugene Delacroix and realism painting of iron and coal by William Bell Scott.
Comparison between Romanticism and Realism based on both paintings
Both paintings are of art and literature in the 19th century with their roots emerging from the burgeoning industrialization. Furthermore, the paintings show real people and indicate the persons in power. However, Romanticism (death of Sardanapalus) seems to center on individual and supernatural circumstances while realism (iron and coal) focuses on the average man and its harsh life in the settings (Delacroix, 2006).
On another similarity, in both cases, setting plays an important role in revealing information to the audience. The romanticism indicated by the death of Sardanapalus shows an isolated and unique setting which is of higher quality to make it part of the story (Delacroix, 2006). On the same note, the realism presented by the iron and coal painting indicate a setting that brings about the conflicting plot which gives more information on the trait of the characters. For instance, the setting shows a busy and industrious setting with people working. Thus it shows that the characters in the picture are industrious, hardworking but face hardship (Scott & Bell, 1861).
The history painting of the death of Sardanapalus presented by Eugene Delacroix is only centered on ideals. However, the painting work of iron and coal by William Bell Scott spells out exactly the plight of the people leaving in the industrial revolution period. For example,
From the picture, it is noted that King Sardanapalus of Assyria is about to be killed but does not care. The painting gives an impression of the king living a noble life amidst the surrounding turmoil such as slave being slaughtered, possession b...
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