Kenney Mencher: Discussion and Video: Neoclassical Art

Neoclassical art is a period in artistic expression believed to have reached dominance between 1770 AD and 1830 AD. It replaced the earlier art movements of Rococo and Baroque styles, where was seen as excessively elaborate and shallow, and was seen as emotionally grandiose. The expression of was carried out through paintings, literature, architecture, and such as theater and music, and was considered of a primarily bland or unemotional form as compared to earlier periods. The movement in neoclassical art was an attempt to recapture the spirit of classical Greek and Roman lifestyles in architecture, culture, and thought.

Neoclassical Art Period

At the heart of Neoclassical art was a intense consciousness of ancient Roman and Greek art. The technique, style, and overall intent was a direct derivation of this antique aesthetic, particularly with the classical idea that art should be serious and unemotional. Neoclassicists believed in the importance of the objective viewpoint, and in the artist’s duty to approach his or her work in a controlled, uninvolved manner. The use and importance of color was deemed inconsequential, as it only distracted from the purpose of the painting. As such, artists generally used a rather subdued palette, with somber colors to further emphasize the gravity and seriousness of their intent. Linear interpretation was of primary importance to the of subject, and the artists adhered to a compositional restraint that created a uniform simplicity in each painting. Perspective and spatial complexities, which had been explored since the Renaissance, were abandoned in favor of this strict linear style. By stressing the importance of contour and line, artists abided by a markedly two-dimensional portrayal of the world.

Bashapedia / Rococo and Neoclassical Art

Talk What any "neo"-classicism depends on most fundamentally is a consensus about a body of work that has achieved canonic status. These are the "classics." Ideally and neoclassicism is essentially an art of an ideal an artist, well schooled and comfortably familiar with the canon, does not repeat it in lifeless reproductions, but synthesizes the tradition anew in each work. This sets a high standard, clearly; but though a neoclassical artist who fails to achieve it may create works that are inane, vacuous or even mediocre, gaffes of taste and failures of craftsmanship are not commonly neoclassical failings. Novelty, improvisation, self-expression, and blinding inspiration are not neoclassical virtues. "Make it new" was the modernist credo of the poet Ezra Pound; contrarily, neoclassicism does not seek to re-create art forms from the ground up with each new project. It instead exhibits perfect control of an idiom.

Neoclassical Art in the Eighteenth Century

60. I consider that Frenchman Jean-Auguste Ingres (1780-1860) belongs to Neoclassical artowing to his clarity and line, but with an attention to sensuality that setshim apart in this age of sober virtue.

Characteristics of Neoclassical Art - Neoclassical Art