The French Revolution of 1789 was in the past, but it was followed by new revolutions in 1830 and 1848, the latter of which was a significant year of revolutions across the continent. In natural history, various natural sciences became disciplines in their own right, and they abandoned the taxonomy of Carl Linnaeus. Nationalist ideals spread from Germany across Europe. Artists worked primarily as poets and philosophers. Industrialization gained pace, causing problems in the cities. The conditions of the working class started to receive attention. Planning began for parks and green spaces in the cities to enhance the environment and increase air quality. Artists began to yearn to return to nature and left the cities for the country. In the footsteps of Goethe, pilgrimages were made to Rome and its environs. Imagination was the order of the day, and fairy tales and adventure stories were popular.
Anne-Maria Pennonen, PhD, is a curator at the Ateneum Art Museum. She has curated numerous exhibitions. She specializes in nineteenth-century art and has researched landscape painting in the Nordic countries and Germany, in particular.