Key Dates: Late 1800-1900
This is a movement that can be defined by its attention to traditional forms concentrating on elegance and symmetry. It takes the art of the Greeks and Romans as its idea of perfection.
Developing in Rome in the late 15th century, the classical style was widespread particularly among the Renaissance artists. Their aim was to capture the precision of the antique age which for them represented the possibility of attaining absolute beauty in their art. Using examples such as the ‘Belvedere Torso’ and the ‘Medici Venus’, the artists rejected emotionalism in favour of attention to form and detail.
The style’s main exponents included Michelangelo, Raphael, Correggio and Mantegna. The classical style was revived in the late 18th and early 19th century in Neoclassicism a movement that arose in reaction to the flamboyant Rococo style and which included artists such as Anton Raffael Mengs and Johan Joachim Winckelman.
Anton Raffael Mengs
Johan Joachim Winckelman