In painting it generally took the form of an emphasis on austere linear design in the depiction of classical themes and subject matter, using archaeologically correct settings and costumes. Neoclassicism arose partly as a reaction against the sensuous and frivolously decorative Rococo style that had dominated European art from the s on. But an even more profound stimulus was the new and more scientific interest in classical antiquity that arose in the 18th century. Neoclassicism was given great impetus by new archaeological discoveries, particularly the exploration and excavation of the buried Roman cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii the excavations of which began in andrespectively.
History[ edit ] Neoclassicism is a revival of the many styles and spirit of classic antiquity inspired directly from the classical period,  which coincided and reflected the developments in philosophy and other areas of the Age of Enlightenment, and was initially a reaction against the excesses of the preceding The transformation from neoclassicism to romanticism style.
The case of the supposed main champion of late Neoclassicism, Ingresdemonstrates this especially well. His books Thoughts on the Imitation of Greek Works in Painting and Sculpture and Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums "History of Ancient Art", were the first to distinguish sharply between Ancient Greek and Roman art, and define periods within Greek art, tracing a trajectory from growth to maturity and then imitation or decadence that continues to have influence to the present day.
Winckelmann believed that art should aim at "noble simplicity and calm grandeur",  and praised the idealism of Greek art, in which he said we find "not only nature at its most beautiful but also something beyond nature, namely certain ideal forms of its beauty, which, as an ancient interpreter of Plato teaches us, come from images created by the mind alone".
The theory was very far from new in Western art, but his emphasis on close copying of Greek models was: In English, the term "Neoclassicism" is used primarily of the visual arts; the similar movement in English literaturewhich began considerably earlier, is called Augustan literature.
This, which had been dominant for several decades, was beginning to decline by the time Neoclassicism in the visual arts became fashionable. Though terms differ, the situation in French literature was similar.
In music, the period saw the rise of classical musicand "Neoclassicism" is used of 20th-century developments. However, the operas of Christoph Willibald Gluck represented a specifically Neoclassical approach, spelt out in his preface to the published score of Alcestewhich aimed to reform opera by removing ornamentationincreasing the role of the chorus in line with Greek tragedyand using simpler unadorned melodic lines.
Ancient models were certainly very much involved, but the style could also be regarded as a revival of the Renaissanceand especially in France as a return to the more austere and noble Baroque of the age of Louis XIVfor which a considerable nostalgia had developed as France's dominant military and political position started a serious decline.
Neoclassicism was strongest in architecturesculpture and the decorative artswhere classical models in the same medium were relatively numerous and accessible; examples from ancient painting that demonstrated the qualities that Winckelmann's writing found in sculpture were and are lacking.
Winckelmann was involved in the dissemination of knowledge of the first large Roman paintings to be discovered, at Pompeii and Herculaneum and, like most contemporaries except for Gavin Hamiltonwas unimpressed by them, citing Pliny the Younger 's comments on the decline of painting in his period.
Neoclassicist painters imaginatively revived it, partly through bas-relief friezes, mosaics and pottery painting, and partly through the examples of painting and decoration of the High Renaissance of Raphael 's generation, frescos in Nero's Domus AureaPompeii and Herculaneumand through renewed admiration of Nicholas Poussin.
Much "Neoclassical" painting is more classicizing in subject matter than in anything else.
A fierce, but often very badly informed, dispute raged for decades over the relative merits of Greek and Roman art, with Winckelmann and his fellow Hellenists generally the winning side.
Jacques-Louis DavidOath of the HoratiiThe work of other artists, who could not easily be described as insipid, combined aspects of Romanticism with a generally Neoclassical style, and form part of the history of both movements.
The German-Danish painter Asmus Jacob Carstens finished very few of the large mythological works that he planned, leaving mostly drawings and colour studies which often succeed in approaching Winckelmann's prescription of "noble simplicity and calm grandeur".
His main subject matter was the buildings and ruins of Rome, and he was more stimulated by the ancient than the modern. The somewhat disquieting atmosphere of many of his Vedute views becomes dominant in his series of 16 prints of Carceri d'Invenzione "Imaginary Prisons" whose "oppressive cyclopean architecture" conveys "dreams of fear and frustration".
Neoclassicism in painting gained a new sense of direction with the sensational success of Jacques-Louis David 's Oath of the Horatii at the Paris Salon of Despite its evocation of republican virtues, this was a commission by the royal government, which David insisted on painting in Rome.
David managed to combine an idealist style with drama and forcefulness. The central perspective is perpendicular to the picture plane, made more emphatic by the dim arcade behind, against which the heroic figures are disposed as in a friezewith a hint of the artificial lighting and staging of operaand the classical colouring of Nicholas Poussin.
David rapidly became the leader of French art, and after the French Revolution became a politician with control of much government patronage in art.
He managed to retain his influence in the Napoleonic period, turning to frankly propagandistic works, but had to leave France for exile in Brussels at the Bourbon Restoration.
He exhibited at the Salon for over 60 years, from into the beginnings of Impressionismbut his style, once formed, changed little.
His style became more classical as his long career continued, and represents a rather smooth progression from Rococo charm to classical dignity.
Unlike some Neoclassical sculptors he did not insist on his sitters wearing Roman dress, or being unclothed. He portrayed most of the great figures of the Enlightenment, and travelled to America to produce a statue of George Washingtonas well as busts of Thomas JeffersonBen Franklin and other luminaries of the new republic.
Canova has a lightness and grace, where Thorvaldsen is more severe; the difference is exemplified in their respective groups of the Three Graces. Johann Gottfried Schadow and his son Rudolphone of the few Neoclassical sculptors to die young, were the leading German artists,  with Franz Anton von Zauner in Austria.
The late Baroque Austrian sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt turned to Neoclassicism in mid-career, shortly before he appears to have suffered some kind of mental crisis, after which he retired to the country and devoted himself to the highly distinctive "character heads" of bald figures pulling extreme facial expressions.
Since prior to the s the United States did not have a sculpture tradition of its own, save in the areas of tombstones, weathervanes and ship figureheads,  the European Neoclassical manner was adopted there, and it was to hold sway for decades and is exemplified in the sculptures of Horatio GreenoughHiram PowersRandolph Rogers and William Henry Rinehart.Neoclassicism (from Greek νέος nèos, "new" and Latin classicus, "of the highest rank") is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of classical antiquity.
Neoclassicism was by then the art of the establishment, academic and institutional, Romanticism was the art of the innovators. It was a pop revolution. For the next three decades, France was the cultural battleground between the traditionalists and the .
Romanticism, first defined as an aesthetic in literary criticism around , gained momentum as an artistic movement in France and Britain in the early decades of the nineteenth century and flourished until mid-century. With its emphasis on the imagination and emotion, Romanticism emerged as a.
Overview. Romanticism was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century. In most areas the movement was at its peak in the approximate period from CE to CE.
Between and , French landscape painting underwent a remarkable transformation from a minor genre rooted in classical traditions to a primary vehicle for artistic experimentation. Some of the most important trends in the development of modernist art, such as the elevation of contemporary.
Western painting - Neoclassical and Romantic: Neoclassicism was a widespread and influential movement in painting and the other visual arts that began in the s, reached its height in the s and ’90s, and lasted until the s and ’50s.