Survey of Art 1B
Neoclassicism in France was contemporary with the Age of Enlightenment, also called The Age of Reason. With it came a spirit of inquiry into historical events and science. Emphasis upon being reasonable and good forced an end to Rococo attitudes and style; therefore, frivolity was out and virtue was in! For a virtuous model of reason and order, artists looked to the Italian Renaissance and the classical world; thus the term Neoclassicism. The ensuing style and its corresponding philosophical and social outlook became the semiofficial voice of the French Revolution and its desire to instill ancient Roman Republic virtues into contemporary civic life. Optimistically, inquiry was encouraged, progress through human ability was believed possible, and that man could function as an individual within the state.
Academic, Classical styles are used in France and elsewhere in Europe to legitimize and defend political regimes in power.
Oath of the Horatti, 1784-1785
Death of Socrates, 1787
Death of Marat, 1793
Madame Recamier, 1800
The Consecration of the Emperor Napolean I
and of Josephine December 2, 1804
Napolean in His Study, 1812
The Valpincon Bather, 1850
Madame de Moitessier, 1851
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