Baroque and Beyond C. 1600–1850

Neoclassical Art

What is neoclassical art?

Sometimes it feels like Classical influence never goes away, but in the eighteenth century, a fully formed “classical revival” evolved on the heels of the baroque period. During the eighteenth century, artists and aristocrats flocked to Rome to see the formidable Roman ruins and the art of the Renaissance. Also at this time, new archeo-logical discoveries were being made in Greece, revealing more about ancient Greek society and art, and fueling increased interest in Classical ideas and aesthetics. The neoclassical style contrasted quite sharply with the flamboyant styles of Rococo and instead emphasized grand simplicity and stability as well as the noble, heroic ideal. Renewed interested in classical thought inspired more than art and architecture— it also fueled political shifts and philosophical ideas that resulted in dramatic societal changes, such as the French and American Revolutions and the rise of Napoleon.


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