Sainte-Beuve in his Tableau of 1828 sang the praises of Chenier as an heroic forerunner of the Romantic movement and a precursor of Victor Hugo.
The general French verdict on his work is in the main well summed by Morillot, when he says that, judged by the usual tests of the Romantic movement of the 'twenties (love for strange literatures of the North, medievalism, novelties and experiments), Chenier would inevitably have been excluded from the cenacle of 1827.
Goethe's classicism brought him into inevitable antagonism with the new Romantic movement which had been inaugurated in 1798 by the Athenaeum, edited by the brothers Schlegel.
The varied sources of his work and its worthlessness as a transcript of actual Celtic poems do not alter the fact that he produced a work of art which by its deep appreciation of natural beauty and the melancholy tenderness of its treatment of the ancient legend did more than any single work to bring about the romantic movement in European, and especially in German, literature.
The Romantic movement helped, with its idealization of a past but vaguely realized and imperfectly understood, and Chateaubriand heralded in the Catholic reaction with his Genie du Christianisme (1801) a brilliant if superficial attack on the encyclopaedists and their neo-Paganism, and a glorification of the Christian Church as supreme not only in the regions of faith and morals, but also in those of intellect and art.
The inevitable reaction of the romantic movement made the masterpieces, which had filled the men of the Revolution with enthusiasm, seem cold and lifeless to those who had been taught to expect in art that atmosphere of mystery which in nature is everywhere present.
He was much affected by the romantic movement and the Ultramontane revival, and after his return home interested himself greatly in the revival of Czech language and literature and the growth of the Bohemian national feeling.