jueves, 28 de febrero de 2008

Neo-Classical Painting

Out of all the arts during the Neo-Classical period, painting was the one in which it was more difficult to reach to an aesthetic of the style. One of the reasons for that is the lack of antique models, because just a few of them appeared in the excavations. Vase decoration and low-relieves were almost the only references at the artists’ hand.

The characteristics of the movement are:
-Renounce to the colourist effects and the composition of the Baroque for realising a painting based on symmetry and reason
-The perfection of the shapes of ancient sculpture were combined with the values of Rafael’s painting.
-The result is a cold work, without deepness, consciously distant, that remains the ancient relieves.
-Painting was eclectic, eliminating any superfluous detail to underline the importance of the subject.
-It was aimed at regenerate society by showing the citizens’ virtues that were explained and depicted through subjects based on classical literature.

Among the most important authors there are Jacques Louis David and Ingres.

David depicted the Neo-Classical aesthetic in works such as The Oath of the Horatii, or Emperor Napoleon Crowning Josephine. He created a precise space in which the main characters are located on the foreground. The drowning is dominant. There is a lack of ornamentation. The light is cold and archaeological details complete what defines the Neo-Classical taste. The subjects of the paintings refer to heroic gests from which it is possible to extract a moral conclusion, even when they did not need to be necessarily ancient.

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All in all, Neo-Classical style was inspired in the mythology, and sometimes it even copied it, what explains the abundance of historical and mythological subjects. There is a proliferation of naked at the Greek style and the pose is grandiloquent and cold, largely though and influenced by the Academy. It is an art full of rules, where drowning is important while colour is considered as of secondary importance. Normally it escape from the movement and, when this appears, it looks to be frozen or be stable and predictable.

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