To express the difference between Augustan or Neoclassical Age and the Romanticism the metaphors of the mirror and the lamp were used.
In fact before the 18th century the creative process was based on the imitation of the external and universal truth, like a mirror which reflects the object by using the reason. After the 18th century, during the Romanticism the art started basing on the creation of the individual and inner truth by using the imagination, like a lamp which makes a contribution to the objects that it perceives. So it’s defined the shift from the witty imitation of classical models to the subjective search for new patterns. In the Augustan Age man, society and all things were conceived immutable and obeying to a mechanistic process.
Reason was the supreme faculty by which them were knowable. The new spirit of Romanticism championed the elements which the Augustan Age had devaluated: imagination, the individual and nature. The industrial Revolution had a big impact on the society by creating a mass-organization and regimentation of the individual. In this new environment man feel a sense of estrangement.