Neo-Classicism

18th - early 19th centuries

     Neo-Classicism, or "New Classicism", emerged as a major art movement in the late 18th century.  Jacques-Louis David (pronounced "Daveed"), was the most influential artist of this movement.  David, who was a major participant in the French Revolution, influenced artists in Europe and America.  The Neo-Classical style resulted from the efforts of  artists like David to reject the silliness of the Rococo period and resurrect a following of the ancient classical styles seen in Greek and Roman art.  The subject matter of much, but not all, of the paintings during this period was influenced by Greek and Roman mythology.  The painting style was usually very meticulous and polished, with all traces of brush strokes blended away, similar to the techniques used by Leonardo da Vinci. 

     It was during this Neo-Classical period of the late 18th and early 19th centuries that "academies" became established as the authorities in the world of art, especially in and around Paris, France.  Not only did artists learn painting rules and techniques in schools sanctioned by various academies, but were able to establish their credentials as "master artists" by submitting their paintings for approval to committees of the academies.  An academic seal of approval was the goal of virtually every professional artist.  For several decades, the "academic style" became the only acceptable manner in which to paint.  However, this strict adherence to academic rules of painting would vanish in the second half of the 19th century with Edouard Manet and the advent of Impressionism.    

 

Watson and the Shark

John Singleton Copley

Paul Revere

John Singleton Copley

Self-Portrait

Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun

Marie Antoinette

Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun

 

Marie Antoinette and Her Children

Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun

Self-Portrait

Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun

Michael Angelo and

Emma Clara Peale

Rembrandt Peale

 

 

Strawberries, Nuts and Citrus

Raphael Peale

Venus Rising From the Sea

Raphael Peale

George Washington

Rembrandt Peale

Melons and Morning Glories

Raphael Peale

Dessert

Raphael Peale

Napoleon

Jacques-Louis David

The Death of Marat

Jacques-Louis David

The Oath of the Horatii

Jacques-Louis David

The Death of Socrates

Jacques-Louis David