The Vision of Cathay first set the phenomenon of chinoiserie in its European cultural context. Hugh Honour has an easy, unstressed verbal grace, and an educated and incisive mind. Classicism and Neo-classicism — Vision of antiquity — Art and revolution — The ideal — Sensibility and the sublime. May 28, AC rated it it was amazing Shelves: Each month we recycle over 2. For Penguin Books, they edited the series Style and Civilization. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1.
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History[ edit ] Neoclassicism is a revival of the many styles and spirit of classic antiquity inspired directly from the classical period,  which coincided and reflected the developments in philosophy and other areas of the Age of Enlightenment, and was initially a reaction against the excesses of the preceding Rococo style.
The case of the supposed main champion of late Neoclassicism, Ingres , demonstrates this especially well. His books Thoughts on the Imitation of Greek Works in Painting and Sculpture and Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums "History of Ancient Art", were the first to distinguish sharply between Ancient Greek and Roman art, and define periods within Greek art, tracing a trajectory from growth to maturity and then imitation or decadence that continues to have influence to the present day.
Winckelmann believed that art should aim at "noble simplicity and calm grandeur",  and praised the idealism of Greek art, in which he said we find "not only nature at its most beautiful but also something beyond nature, namely certain ideal forms of its beauty, which, as an ancient interpreter of Plato teaches us, come from images created by the mind alone".
The theory was very far from new in Western art, but his emphasis on close copying of Greek models was: "The only way for us to become great or if this be possible, inimitable, is to imitate the ancients". In English, the term "Neoclassicism" is used primarily of the visual arts; the similar movement in English literature , which began considerably earlier, is called Augustan literature. This, which had been dominant for several decades, was beginning to decline by the time Neoclassicism in the visual arts became fashionable.
Though terms differ, the situation in French literature was similar. In music, the period saw the rise of classical music , and "Neoclassicism" is used of 20th-century developments. However, the operas of Christoph Willibald Gluck represented a specifically Neoclassical approach, spelt out in his preface to the published score of Alceste , which aimed to reform opera by removing ornamentation , increasing the role of the chorus in line with Greek tragedy , and using simpler unadorned melodic lines.
Much "Neoclassical" painting is more classicizing in subject matter than in anything else. A fierce, but often very badly informed, dispute raged for decades over the relative merits of Greek and Roman art, with Winckelmann and his fellow Hellenists generally being on the winning side. Oath of the Horatii ; by Jacques-Louis David ; ; oil on canvas; height: cm, width: cm; Louvre The work of other artists, who could not easily be described as insipid, combined aspects of Romanticism with a generally Neoclassical style, and form part of the history of both movements.
His main subject matter was the buildings and ruins of Rome, and he was more stimulated by the ancient than the modern. Despite its evocation of republican virtues, this was a commission by the royal government, which David insisted on painting in Rome. David managed to combine an idealist style with drama and forcefulness.
The central perspective is perpendicular to the picture plane, made more emphatic by the dim arcade behind, against which the heroic figures are disposed as in a frieze , with a hint of the artificial lighting and staging of opera , and the classical colouring of Nicholas Poussin.
David rapidly became the leader of French art, and after the French Revolution became a politician with control of much government patronage in art. He managed to retain his influence in the Napoleonic period, turning to frankly propagandistic works, but had to leave France for exile in Brussels at the Bourbon Restoration. He exhibited at the Salon for over 60 years, from into the beginnings of Impressionism , but his style, once formed, changed little. If Neoclassical painting suffered from a lack of ancient models, Neoclassical sculpture tended to suffer from an excess of them, although examples of actual Greek sculpture of the "classical period" beginning in about BC were then very few; the most highly regarded works were mostly Roman copies.
His style became more classical as his long career continued, and represents a rather smooth progression from Rococo charm to classical dignity.
Unlike some Neoclassical sculptors he did not insist on his sitters wearing Roman dress, or being unclothed.
He portrayed most of the great figures of the Enlightenment, and travelled to America to produce a statue of George Washington , as well as busts of Thomas Jefferson , Ben Franklin and other luminaries of the new republic. Canova has a lightness and grace, where Thorvaldsen is more severe; the difference is exemplified in their respective groups of the Three Graces.
Johann Gottfried Schadow and his son Rudolph , one of the few Neoclassical sculptors to die young, were the leading German artists,  with Franz Anton von Zauner in Austria.
The late Baroque Austrian sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt turned to Neoclassicism in mid-career, shortly before he appears to have suffered some kind of mental crisis, after which he retired to the country and devoted himself to the highly distinctive "character heads" of bald figures pulling extreme facial expressions. Since prior to the s the United States did not have a sculpture tradition of its own, save in the areas of tombstones, weathervanes and ship figureheads,  the European Neoclassical manner was adopted there, and it was to hold sway for decades and is exemplified in the sculptures of Horatio Greenough , Harriet Hosmer , Hiram Powers , Randolph Rogers and William Henry Rinehart.
Cupid and Psyche; by Antonio Canova ; ; plaster; overall:
May 22, Carissa rated it did not like it. Mme Manet rated it really liked it Aug 16, Living in Asolo near VeniceHonour and Fleming began a highly-productive writing and publishing partnership, in which Fleming managed the business side of their enterprise and Honour wrote the books. They also edited two more series for Penguin: This book is not yet featured on Listopia. JBL SRXF PDF This is the price excluding postage a seller has provided at which the same item, or one that is very similar to it, is being offered for sale or has been offered for sale in the recent past. This page was last edited on 7 Novemberat Showing of 1 reviews. From inside the book.
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