Art History (Neoclassical Art and Romanticism)
Socio-political events manipulate arts and historical circumstances a great deal. Art is a response to transformations and changes witnessed in the society. Neoclassical art back in the 17th and 18th century existed to portray principles of control, form and reasoning. In the 18th century, romantic art also existed to reveal the imaginations and expressions of an individual.
Rebellions against conventional social rules were also depicted in romantic arts. This study will therefore closely analyze romantic and neoclassical paintings in relation to their history. It will also compare their period with Baroque and Renaissance in portraying movement from one period to the other.
Neoclassical art came about as unemotional art in Rome and in ancient Greece. High interest in different classical ideas led to its rise as well as the French revolution. It also appealed to many artists because neoclassical art supported French Revolution. Jacques-Louis David was one of the neoclassical artists whose Oath of the Horatti painting depicted three warriors taking an oath of allegiance to Roman Republic in the war against city of Alba (Martin 27).
The painting was created five years before the collapse of Batille in 1785. It also took the special place in French history and in David’s work. The painting also portrayed 3 brothers on the left side, children and their mother on the right and their father at the center. The three brother depicted patriotism to their country and loyalty. Even so, one of their sisters got married to Curiatii. Upon returning home from the battle, the sister was killed by the brother for condemning him.
The killing was a sign of sacrifice that a person can go to the extent of killing a family member because of his country. According to Kleiner and Gardner, the painting also clearly demonstrated clarity and force through virile rigid forms of men as well as curvilinear women form (769).
David’s painting may have been formulated from academic tradition but it also brought about new meaning afterwards. Neoclassical art has therefore influenced the 19th century academic art.
In response to neoclassicism, romanticism emerged in 1800. Even so, the style existed as a counterbalancing effect but did not necessarily replace neoclassical style. Therefore, many artists utilize the two styles in their work. The Liberty Leading the People painting, done in 1830 to depict French Revolution.
Eugene Delacroix in France was considered the greatest romantic painter in the country. He was smart when it comes to creating visual effects using contrasting colors. His painting depicted people fighting for their freedom. He is also portrayed in his art works as the man holding a gun on the left side, wearing a hat and a black coat. In the painting, the woman represents liberty.
The fighters are also closely following their leader’s concept to liberty. Part of the woman’s clothes are ripped represents a rough and tough road to liberty. Dead people in the painting ensure the winner’s success while dead soldiers depict overcoming of impediments.
The young man holding handguns represent the people’s determination to clinch power. He also represents workers who follow instructions from their masters. Freedom was additionally the main war impulse but the concept was fully transformed to a physical form.
On the other hand, the period between the 14th and 16th century marked the existence of renaissance characterized by reformation, humanism and also the rebirth of concepts and arts from classical world (Corrain et al.8). Baroque Art is however not enhanced in art history based on the fact that it was a strict form of Renaissance art as well as its period of existence (1550-1750). The period was also perceived as unstable when different art styles were emerging.
Baroque and Renaissance arts were additionally very different from romanticism and neoclassical arts because they did not feature stable stands.
Approaches and Beliefs in Human Reason and Rationality
The painting of David is very relevant owing to its contrast elements. It encompasses male and female, the young and the old as well as determination and sorrow. Nevertheless, when Horatii brother killed the sister, the painting goes beyond rationality. The work of Delacroix demonstrated rationalism through leadership.
Leadership hierarchy in the painting is clear where the woman is seen leading from the top while others follow below her. Even though Delacroix did not engage in real battle, he participated through his painting. The paintings represented ideas that 1000 words could not express. His paintings also do not attack directly paternal authority but swearing of allegiance is a strong believe that many children have for their parents even when they are harsh towards them (Hunt 37).
Through force, determination, love and leadership, Delacroix and David have managed to convince us that we can achieve the freedom we need through revolution. However, a revolution cannot be realized if people fight with emotions. The painting of David changed aristocratic rule to a democratic rule.
Delacroix, as a romantic artist used his intelligence to put emphasize on the power to realize human goals and self-realization. Through contemporary events and symbols, Delacroix played a crucial role in the 1830 revolution (Gildea 185). Therefore, romanticism and neoclassical art influenced the current world and modern world a great deal.
Corrain, Lucia, Simone Boni, L R. Galante, and Susan Ashley. The Art of the Renaissance. Minneapolis, MN: Oliver Press, 8, 2008. Print.
Gardner, Helen, and Fred Kleiner S. Gardner’s Art through the Ages: A Global History. Australia: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
Gildea, Robert. Children of the Revolution: The French, 1799-1914. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 185, 2008. Print.
Hunt, Lynn. The Family Romance of the French Revolution. New York: Routledge,37, 1992. Print.
Martin, Brian J. Napoleonic Friendship: Military Fraternity, Intimacy, and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century France. Durham, N.H: University of New Hampshire Press, 27, 2011. Print.