The Inspiration behind NeoclassicismDuring the 18th century, Neoclassicism became the prevalent art movement across Europe. Inspired by the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, Neoclassicism sought to capture the essence of the ancient art forms. This movement was a rejuvenation of the ideals which prevailed in the civilizations of Greece and Rome.
Revisiting Ancient Greek and Roman Art TraitsNeoclassical art marked a return to the classical art forms of ancient Greece and Rome. The art movement attempted to recapture the idealized version of the classical world, which focused on the depiction of human form as a measure of aesthetics. The art movement portrayed a return to heroic virtues and aspiration towards higher ideals. Neoclassical art takes inspiration from Greek and Roman mythology, literature, and history, which emphasize the human form as the measuring tool of ideals. The Neoclassical movement was characterized by a sense of balance, proportion, and an appreciation for the simple, elegant, and pure. Artists began to depict idealized figures, scenes, and landscapes of ancient Greece and Rome, and architectural styles with clean lines and geometric forms.
Rationality and its role in Neoclassical artThe Neoclassical era brought with it a great emphasis on rationality and order. The artists of the movement sought mathematical precision and geometric precision in their works, asserting that the ultimate beauty lay in the elements of balance and symmetry. The artists of the Neoclassical era believed that the mind had to be in harmony with the art form. Neoclassical art is marked by a clear, rational, and logical approach. The artists sought to represent objects and figures as they would be observed in real life, without additional embellishments. There was an emphasis on competence and skill in the use of media that would enable the artist to articulate his or her ideas with clarity and precision.
The Simplicity of Neoclassical Art StyleNeoclassical art represents an art form that is characterized by simplicity and clarity. The artists of the movement sought to achieve this by focusing on the idealized forms, which were considered a measure of aesthetic perfection. Simplicity was the key to achieving beauty in Neoclassical art, and the artists sought to portray objects as they were. Neoclassical art rejected the extravagance of the Baroque movement, and instead favored clean lines, geometric forms, and stark contrasts. With this art movement, the focus was on the essence of the art form, and not the expression of emotions or feelings. Neoclassical art is characterized by the following :
- Clean, simple lines and geometric shapes
- Stark contrasts between light and dark
- Symmetry and harmony in composition
- An emphasis on form, not emotion