The word neoclassical itself tells the story. Neo and classical or the revival of the classical arts of ancient Greece and Rome is the neoclassical art. It dates back to the eighteenth century where baroque and Rococo art styles were prevalent. For people of high class, the trend of the grand tour started gaining popularity. It led to a newly-developed hobby of collecting antique things. Again this tradition led to many great art collections paving the way to the classical revival of art in entire Europe and America.
Paintings In Neoclassical Art
The neoclassical arts included all of its forms like paintings, sculptures, architecture, music, literature, etc. The art was easy to recognize and differs from the established ones. Minimal use of colors, straight lines, simplicity, and the connections to the classical arts make them unique. Since its revival, it signified its presence through all forms of art. Again, some of them showcased it richly in other decorative arts, architecture, sculptures, etc. Romans made copies of sculptures of ancient Greeks which helped people to learn about the rich classical heritage.
Characteristics of Neoclassical Paintings:
The extensive use of straight lines;
Minimal application of colors;
Depiction of light, smooth paint surface and clear definition of forms.
These paintings displaying virtue and myth were based on cultural and historical aspects. So, the French revolution saw the great use of this style which emphasized virtue and patriotism as well.
The characteristics of Rococo paintings made them just opposite to neoclassical style. So, the works of Jacques-Louis David were great inspirations to the neoclassical style of painting. Eventually, his artistic skills with a perfect blend of idealized structure and dramatic effect brought a revolution in the field of paintings. Soon he became one of the most renowned painters of France. The Oath of the Horatii was one of the most popular works of David. Further, his students mainly women boosted to revive this art form.
Sculptures In Neoclassical Art
Just opposite to Rococo styles whose subject matters were mostly frivolous, neoclassical sculptors chose serious subjects. These subjects carried the history of ancient Greek and Rome. During the eighteenth century, these subjects reached their zenith, mainly in France and Europe. They focused on heroism, patriotism, and virtue. As a result, the excavation of the ruins at Pompeii standout as a source of interest to popularize these style of sculptures.
The sculpture of Francois-Marie Arouet or Voltaire was one of the most famous sculptures of that time. Thus, the seriousness and wisdom it carried in his commoner’s blouse, robe, facial expression, and body language attracted appreciations from everywhere. Moreover, many sculptures of famous personalities gained huge popularity in entire Europe and America.
Architecture In Neoclassical Art
Neoclassical architecture revived the past of the Graeco-Roman era and the Renaissance as well in the mid-eighteenth century. Specifically, it was like a comeback against the Rococo style of architecture. Thus, France witnessed the first phase of this style as Louis XVI style, followed by the second phase of Directoire style. In fact, some examples are Arc de Triomphe, Chiswick House of London, Pantheon in Paris, etc.