Romanticism emerged in Europe in the late 18th century as both an artistic and intellectual movement, focussing on human psychology and feeling.

Romanticism reached its peak around 1780 to 1830 but continued to exert influence long afterward. The defining feature was a heightened emotionalism, diverging from the prevailing principles of classical restraint.

In British art, Romanticism found expression in fresh perspectives on nature through the works of John Constable and J.M.W. Turner. Visionary artist William Blake explored humanity's place in the cosmos, its relationship with God, and innovative ways of approaching human history. Other notable painters of historical subjects during this period included Henry Fuseli, James Barry, and John Hamilton Mortimer.

Later stages of the Romantic movement in Britain welcomed the emergence of the Pre-Raphaelites and symbolism.

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Parra's studio, with Parra at the centre, his back to the camera as he works on the large painting takes centre stage, showing a faceless blue woman in a striped dress, painted in red, purple, blue and teal. The studio is full of brightly coloured paints, with a large window on the right and a patterned rug across the floor under the painting.