JWSmith Photography | Modern Romanticism

Modern Romanticism

March 05, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

   In 2012 I took the image of people viewing the illuminated sky above Zabriskie Point's Red Cathedral and have ever since wondered if they had the same introspective feeling of awe and wonder that the Wanderer is imbued with in Caspar Friedrich's painting which has forever exemplified the Romantic Period.  Now, I figure there's a 99.5% chance that none of those four were contemplating the value of nature over the threatening trespass of modernity but there's a slight chance that the younger of the group will be forever ingrained with a love of nature and a deep-seated willingness to protect it.  There's always a chance. 
   Fortunately, what you cannot see from my image is the people surrounding me with their modern camera-phones and immediate Instagram and Facebook uploads where they insist on telling the world where they are and how they're feeling.  I sincerely doubt Friedrich had a similar problem but I am sure the Romantics envisioned it and through music, art and literature stuck against that encroachment.  Perhaps they need a second coming. 
   The distrust of modernity and the industrial approach to nature that was an influence in the Romantic Period is echoed in today's socio-political environment but regardless of which side of the mountain you view the landscape it's hard not to appreciate the beauty of a natural treasure such as Death Valley.


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