Discover Black Romanticism: A Macabre and Fascinating Literary and Artistic Movement

Encyclopédie des Styles, Gothique, Mode -

Discover Black Romanticism: A Macabre and Fascinating Literary and Artistic Movement

Black Romanticism is a literary and artistic movement that emerged in Europe at the end of the 18th century and reached its peak during the 19th century. This movement is characterized by a fascination with the supernatural , the macabre , the Gothic , terror and death . In this article, I'm going to explain everything you need to know about dark romanticism, with a few references and anecdotes to spice things up and give you a night out!

Origins and historical context

Dark Romanticism arose in reaction to the Enlightenment period, which saw the emergence of rational and scientific thinking that rejected superstitions and popular beliefs . Black romanticism sought to rehabilitate popular myths and legends, as well as human emotions, passions and instincts.

In Europe, black romanticism was strongly influenced by the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, which generated a profound social , political , and moral crisis. The movement was also influenced by travel tales and scientific discoveries which sparked a fascination with the exotic , the unknown and the mysterious .


Themes and motifs

The themes and motifs of dark romanticism are often dark, mysterious , and macabre . Writers and artists of the movement often explored themes of death , melancholy , madness , witchcraft , and the occult . Frequent motifs include ruined castles , cemeteries , tombs , ghosts , and fantastical creatures like vampires and werewolves.

Black romanticism also developed a fascination with marginal figures in society , such as criminals, madmen and vagabonds. This fascination is explained by a search for authenticity and naturalness in the face of a bourgeois and conformist society.

Main authors and artists

Black Romanticism had many talented authors and artists who helped define the movement. Here are some famous names:

Edgar Allan Poe : One of the best-known authors of dark romanticism, Poe wrote fascinating and macabre stories like " The Raven ," " The Fall of the House of Usher, " and " The Masque of the Red Death ."

Mary Shelley : The author of " Frankenstein ", considered one of the first science fiction novels, is also associated with dark romanticism.

Charles Baudelaire : The French poet published " Les Fleurs du mal ", a collection of poems which explores themes of melancholy , death and decadence .

Gustave Doré : The French illustrator produced many dark and beautiful engravings, notably for the poems of Dante and Milton .

black romanticism illustration painting photo of a woman with a crown of flowers and skulls, dark romantic melancholy


Dark Romanticism is a movement full of fascinating anecdotes. Here are a few :

  • Edgar Allan Poe, one of the most famous authors of dark romanticism , was also a big fan of cats. He had several cats throughout his life, but his black cat, named Pluto , was his favorite. In one of his stories, " The Black Cat ", Poe explores themes of madness and guilt through the story of a man who kills his cat and is tormented by his own conscience.

  • Mary Shelley wrote “ Frankenstein ” when she was just 18 years old. The story arose from a writing competition between her, her husband Percy Shelley and their friend Lord Byron to see who could write the best horror story.

  • Charles Baudelaire 's most famous poem, " Les Fleurs du mal ", was published in 1857 . The collection was censored by the French government and Baudelaire was prosecuted for insulting public morals. Although he was convicted, Baudelaire continued to write and published a second edition of " Les Fleurs du mal " in 1861 .
  • Gustave Doré was a prolific illustrator who produced engravings for many famous books, including the Bible , Dante and Milton . In 1861 he illustrated an edition of Baudelaire 's " Les Fleurs du mal ", which was also censored by the French government.


Dark Romanticism is a fascinating literary and artistic movement that explores dark , mysterious , and macabre themes. The movement was influenced by the social, political and moral crisis of the time, as well as a fascination with the exotic and the unknown . Talented writers and artists helped define the movement, and their works continue to inspire and fascinate people today. Whether through the stories of Edgar Allan Poe , the illustrations of Gustave Doré or the poems of Baudelaire , black romanticism has left an indelible mark on the history of culture and art and continues to develop in multimedia multimedia with more subgenres.

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