TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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  Art Timeline  
 
 
  1 c. 15000 - 5000 BC Prehistoric Art
  2 5000 BC - 5ОО BC The Art of the Ancient Kingdoms of Egypt - Aegean Art
  3-4 5ОО вс - 12th century The Art of the Greeks
  5-6 5ОО вс - 12th century Italic Art
  7-8-9 12th century (1100-1199) The Early Christians  Art - Byzantine Art
  10-11 13th century (1200-1299) Gothic Art
  12 14th century (1300-1399) Gothic Art - International Style
  13 15th century (1400-1499) The Early Renaissance
  14 16th century (1500-1599) The High Renaissance
  15-16 16th century (1500-1599) Mannerism
  17-18-19-20 17th century (1600-1699) Baroque
  21-22 18th century (1700-1799) Rococo
  23-24-25-26-27-28-29 19th century(1800–1899) Neoclassical - Romanticism
    19th century (1863-1899) Impressionism Timeline
    19th century (1860-1899) Simbolism
    20th century(1900-1999) ART OF THE 20TH CENTURY
 
 
 
 
CONTENTS
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19th century (1800-1899)
 
 
 
     
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Post-Impressionism
Symbolism
     
 
 
Neoclassicism and Romanticism
 
 
 

Robert Adam
Thomas Banks

Charles Barry
Reinhold Begas
Albert Bierstadt
William Blake
Karl Blechen
Richard Parkes Bonington
Gustave Boulanger
Ford Madox Brown
Edward Burne-Jones
Antonio Canova
Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld
Asmus Jacob Carstens
Theodore Chasseriau
James Collinson
John Constable
John Singleton Copley
Peter von Cornelius
Jean Baptiste Camille Corot
Gustave Courbet
Charles Daubigny
Jacques-Louis David
Honore Daumier
Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps
Eugene Delacroix
Paul Delaroche
Gustave Dore
Jules Dupre
Anselm Feuerbach
Hippolyte-Jean Flandrin
John Flaxman
Karl Philipp Fohr
Caspar David Friedrich
Eugene Fromentin
Henry Fuseli
Frangois Gerard
Theodore Gericault
Jean-Leon Gerome
James Gillray
Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson
Francisco de Goya
Anton Graff
Antoine-Jean Gros
Pierre-Narcisse Guerin
Henry Holland
John Hoppner
Jean-Antoine Houdon

Arthur Hughes
William Holman Hunt
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
Jean Baptiste Isabey
Joseph Israels
Angelica Kauffmann
Leo von Klenze
Joseph Anton Koch
Sir Thomas Lawrence
John Leech
Frederic Leighton
John Martin
Anton Raphael Mengs
Adolf Menzel
John Everett Millais
Jean Francois Millet
George Morland
John Nash
William Orchardson
Johann Friedrich Overbeck
Augustin Pajou
Charles Willson Peale
Pierre-Paul Prud'hon
Henry Raeburn

Christian Daniel Rauch
Jean-Baptiste Regnault
George Romney
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Theodore Rousseau
Thomas Rowlandson
Philipp Otto Runge
Johann Gottfried Schadow
Karl Friedrich Schinkel
Moritz von Schwind
Carl Spitzweg
Alfred Stevens
Gilbert Stuart
Bertel Thorvaldsen
J.M.W. Turner
Ferdinand Waldmuller
George Frederic Watts
Benjamin West
David Wilkie
Johann Zoffany

   
 
 
 
From Rococo to Neoclassicism
 
 
The architectural theorist Francesco Milizia documented his views of the Baroque style in 1785 in a savage indictment. He viewed it as already hopelessly old-fashioned. Under his definition of Baroque, much that belonged to High Baroque was mistakenly included. Rococo was already past its peak in central European architecture by the 1780s. In terms of domestic interior decoration and furnishings, best represented in France by the "Louis XV" style. Rococo was going out of favour in Europe by about 1770. In large European cities. Neoclassicism grew in popularity, and where taste was more conservative, there was a return to the academic traditions of the Bolognese and Roman schools. The Louis XVI style in furniture, which became fashionable during the 1770s and 1780s, was characterized by ornately caned wood or stucco decoration. It was tantamount to a variation on the Rococo theme but with a preference for straight lines, a limited range of floral iconography and pattern, a more measured rhythm, and a new. less luxuriant repertoire of decoration. In effect, the gregarious, rich Rococo style gave way to a more austere and serious artistic-sensibility. With gradual and various modifications, Rococo gradually progressed towards Neoclassicism with no discernible, abrupt break. As these stylistic changes took place.

The term "Neoclassicism" is given to a clearly definable taste in Europe that was based on the pursuit of beauty through the imitation of models drawn from antiquity. The instantly recognizable style of this new movement was clear in all aspects of art. With its sources in the Grand Tour, it emerged between the mid-18th and early 19th century through the ideas of scholars such as German painter Anton Rafael Mengs (1728-79) and archaeologist and art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-68). They shared strongly-held beliefs based on classical ideals, which were already being revived elsewhere in Europe. Neoclassicism was probably at its most creative during the short, intense period known as the Empire style. Later, some elements of the movement interlinked with those of Romanticism, a relationship that was to destroy the style from within. Neoclassicism was a comprehensive style that embraced painting and architecture, literature and music. It also made an impression on the applied arts, where it inspired the design of fabrics, jewellery, furniture, and ceramics. As the movement became more established, the characteristics of the Neoclassical style varied from country to country - as did the name. For example, it became the sober Regency style in England and the grandiose Empire style in France. In Germany, it was expressed in the comfortable, relaxed Biedermeier style; in Scandinavia, the light, airy Gustavian style, typified by the use of light-coloured wood. In North America, it resulted in the simple Federal style.
 
 

Pierre-Narcisse Guerin
The Return of Marcus Sextus

1799
 
 
Origins of the Style

As symmetry was gradually introduced into the lavish ornamental motifs of the Rococo style, so the Neoclassicist ideas slowly began to spread. Work from this transitional period retained some delicate grace while displaying some
distinctly Grecian traits. The new aesthetic revealed a reaction against the excesses of Rococo ornamentation and the frivolity of the prevailing fashion for curved lines, in favour of what was seen as the noble simplicity of antiquity. This weariness with Rococo style was evident from the 1730s onwards in the writings of Voltaire (Le Temple dugout, 1730), the architect Jacques-Francois Blondel (De la distribution des maisons de plaisance, 1737), and the abbot Le Blanc (Letters to the Count de Caylus, 1737-44). Many Neoclassical ideas were founded in the scientific ideals of the French Encyclopaedists, who believed in the enhancement and promotion of public morality through art. French philosopher Denis Diderot sought to make virtue appealing and render vice ridiculous and unattractive, linking the concept of beauty to goodness. He advocated the social responsibility of the creative artist, whose work would be destined for the collective well-being and education of the community.

 
 
UNCOVERING THE ART OF ANTIQUITY

Following the discoveries at Herculaneum (1738) and Pompeii (1748), both near Naples, extensive archaeological excavations were carried out in and around Rome during the last quarter of the 18th century. The finds, such as those at the Lateran (1779-80), attracted a steady flow of visitors to the Eternal City, already an essential stop on the Grand Tour — a standard feature in the education of English gentlemen. The cosmopolitan community of Rome swelled as enthusiastic observers came to admire the newly discovered masterpieces. According to Winckelmann, the prime theorist of Neoclassicism, sculptures such as the Apollo Belvedere and the Laocoon epitomized the antique qualities of calm, simplicity, and noble grandeur that were so desirable.
 
 

The Apotheosis of Homer, from Antiquites etrusques, grecques
et romaines, vol. III, by Pierre-Francois Hugues, 1766-67. 
This work is based on classical Greek vase painting.
 
 
 
Ange-Jacques Gabriel

(b. Paris, France 1698; d. Paris 1782) 

Ange-Jacques Gabriel was born in Paris in 1698. Trained by his father, Jacques Gabriel V, and by Robert de Cotte, he became a member of the Academie Royal de l'Architecturein 1728 and he became the principal assistant to his father as Premier Architecte at Versaille in 1735. He succeeded his father as Premier Architecte in 1742. Gabriel's work reflects the academic ideal of emulation that existed during the eighteenth century. With his designs he assimilated the lessons of the past and adapted its models to more sophisticated purposes. Much of his work is based on an academic principle of classical proportioning. Throughout his career he followed the fundamental belief that progress depends upon reason and discipline. The principal royal architect for most of the reign of Louis XV, Gabriel promoted the transition from Rococo to Neoclassicism through the evolution of the Style Louis XVI. On the premise that the role of ornament is essentially the articulation of structure, the sumptuous embellishment of his work in the 1740s gave way to the noble simplicity of his latter works. 
Gabriel died in Paris in 1782. 
 
 

Ange-Jacques Gabriel, the Petit Trianon, Verailles, 1762-68
 
 

Ange-Jacques Gabriel, the Petit Trianon, Verailles, 
1762-68
 
 
ARCADIA AT VERSAILLES

In 1762, architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel (1698-1782) started work on his great masterpiece, the Petit Trianon, set in a garden on the estate at Versailles. It was a perfectly balanced building of simple uniformity, with a facade that was symmetrically articulated at right angles to form a closed, independent rectangle.
It demonstrates many typical traits of Neoclassical architecture, not least in its clarity of structure. The building contrasts with the Neo-Gothic architecture found along the winding roads of the English landscape.
 
 

Ange-Jacques Gabriel, Palacio de Versalles, 
the Petit Trianon, Verailles, 1762-68
 
 
INSPIRED INTERIORS

Motifs from the frescos of Herculaneum were incorporated into interior decoration schemes across northern Europe. Divided into small octagonals and squares edged with red. the designs featured nymphs, putti (infant boys), dancers, spirits, birds, and small mythological scenes. The decoration stood out against a pale blue background, with delicate grotesques, garlands, capitals, little columns, and perspectives that lead to infinity. Copies of paintings uncovered at Pompeii and Herculaneum soon became very fashionable in England, not least in the form of Wedgwood's exquisite white china figurines. The first "Etruscan" interiors, known then as "Pompeiian"', appeared in the villas designed by the Scottish architect Robert Adam (1728-92). The light, graceful rooms were the most intimate and relaxed of the period, their interiors created by artists such as Angelica Kauffmann (who was in England between 1766 and 1781).

 
 
Robert Adam

During time spent in France and Italy, the young Robert Adam (1728-92), the best-known member of a family of Scottish architects, became a pupil of the architectural draughtsman C.L. Clerisseau and a friend of the etcher Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-78). He returned home in 1758 and, with his colleague and rival William Chambers, was made architect to George III. Adam's interiors were exquisitely delicate, drawing from a repertory of classical motifs. His style strongly influenced decorative art. With his brother James (1732-94), he set out their theories in The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam (1773-78), published in 1822. Together, they planned the ambitious Adelphi project for a residential area along the River Thames.

 
 

Robert Adam, the library at Kenwood House, Hampstead, London, 1767-69. 
Here, Adam blended an imitation of the ancient with a taste for comfort and intimacy.
 
 
Robert Adam

(b Kirkcaldy, Fife, 3 July 1728; d London, 3 March 1792). 

Architect and designer, son of William Adam. He and his rival William Chambers were the leading British architects in the second half of the 18th century. After training under his father, he embarked on a Grand Tour in 1754; this ended early in 1758 when he settled in London rather than Edinburgh. There he established a practice that was transformed into a partnership with his younger brother James after the latter’s return in 1763 from his own Grand Tour. By then, however, the Adam style was formed, and Robert remained the partnership’s driving force and principal designer until his death. He not only developed a distinctive and highly influential style but further refined it through his large number of commissions, earning fame and a certain amount of fortune along the way. Eminently successful, he left an indelible stamp on British architecture and interior decoration and on international Neoclassicism.

 
 
 
Italian Sources

Academic interest in the past was animated by a deep longing for renewal during the 18th century. It was appropriate, therefore, that the new art style evolved in Rome, among the ruins of a dead civilization and its treasures, including the stuccowork of the tombs in the Via Latina, the ruins of the imperial palace at Spoleto, in the Albani and Borghese villas, and the setting up of the Pio-Clementino Museum in the Vatican City. These were joined by the excavations at Herculaneum in 1738 and at Pompeii a decade later. Rome was renowned as the international capital of artistic excellence, but Naples, too, now became an obligatory stop for cultured Europeans on the Grand Tour. The ruins at Herculaneum aroused a great deal of interest and excitement. King Charles III of Spain founded the Herculaneum Academy to spread the knowledge of the new discoveries, publishing eight large volumes on the
finds between 1757 and 1792. In Antiquity and Herculaneum, all the bronzes and frescos that had been uncovered were reproduced. Prints and illustrations faithful to the originals facilitated the rapid dissemination of the newly discovered decorative motifs. By the end of the century, the kind of ornament derived from ancient Roman decoration by Raphael and his school had been superseded by new forms such as cherubs and winged cupids, which adorned bedrooms and studies. Meanwhile, the famous tripod with sphinxes from Pompeii, had a considerable influence on Empire furnishings. Joseph-Marie Vien(1716-1809), a former teacher of Jacques-Louis David, was the first to introduce the so-called "Pompeiian style" in his painting The Cupid Seller (1763) by setting a scene with Greek details in a Neoclassical interior. Excavations were also undertaken in Tuscany in the first half of the 18th century, from which collections were established. In his seven-volume Recueil d'Antiquites (1752-67), Count de Caylus mistakenly expounded a theory that the Etruscan civilization was older than that of the Greeks. A new interest in Egypt also arose in Rome, inspired by the obelisks and ancient sculptures discovered at Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli. After Napoleon's Egyptian campaign in 1798, a new fashion sprang up - Egyptian Neoclassicism.

 
 
Joseph-Marie Vien

(b Montpellier, 18 June 1716; d Paris, 27 March 1809). 

French painter, draughtsman and engraver. He was one of the earliest French painters to work in the Neo-classical style, and although his own work veered uncertainly between that style and the Baroque, Vien was a decisive influence on some of the foremost artists of the heroic phase of Neo-classicism, notably Jacques-Louis David, Jean-François-Pierre Peyron, Joseph-Benoît Suvée and Jean-Baptiste Regnault, all of whom he taught. Both his wife, Marie-Thérèse Reboul (1738–1805), and Joseph-Marie Vien fils (1762–1848) were artists: Marie-Thérèse exhibited at the Salon in 1757–67; Joseph-Marie fils earned his living as a portrait painter and engraver.

 
 

Joseph-Marie Vien
The Cupid Seller
1763
Musee du Chateau Fontainebleau. 

The artist's antiquarian leanings are here used to portray a vision of idle Parisian society 
in the declining years of Madame de Pompadour's ascendancy.
 
 

Joseph-Marie Vien
Marcus Aurelius Distributing Bread to the People

1765
Oil on canvas, 300 x 301 cm
Musée de Picardie, Amiens
 
 

Joseph-Marie Vien
Venus Showing Mars her Doves Making a Nest in his Helmet

1768
Oil on canvas
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg



Joseph-Marie Vien
Young Greek Maidens Decking the Sleeping Cupid with Flowers 
1773



Joseph-Marie Vien
Sweet Melancoly 
1756



Joseph-Marie Vien
L'amour fuyant L'esclavage
1789



Joseph-Marie Vien
Psyche looking at Sleeping Cupid
 
 

Joseph-Marie Vien
Sultane Reine
 
 

Joseph-Marie Vien
Der Sultan
 
 
 
MADAME RECAMIER AND THE GREEK STYLE
 
 

Francois Gerard
Portrait of Juliette Recamier
1805
Musee Carnavalet, Paris
 
 
During the Napoleonic era, wives, mistresses, and sisters imposed their taste on high society.

The wife of a wealthy banker, Madame Juliette Recamier, "whose beauty and whose grace make one think of Venus," as Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte reportedly said to Joseph Bonaparte, was captured on canvas in several different guises. In a painting by David, she is pictured reclining barefoot on a sofa; Dejuinne painted her dressed in white as an innocent reader in a room of the Abbaye-aux-Bois; and Chinard portrayed her as a nymph with partly exposed breasts. In Francois Gerard's portrait, commissioned by Prince Augustus of Paissia, both her dress and the chair on which she poses are inspired by the Greek style. 
The Recamier home, Hotel Recamier, was lavishly decorated by Charles Percier and Pierre-Francois-Leonard Fontaine, with clear references to Greek and Egyptian style. Far from leading the life of an idealized classical goddess. Madame Recamier suffered her fair share of hardships, including an unconsummated marriage and unhappy love affairs.

 
 

Charles Percier and 
Pierre-Francois-Leonard Fontaine.

 View of the Arc De Triomphe Du Carrousel, Built 1806-08 
 
 
Johann Joachim WINCKELMANN

The influential German Johann Joachim Winckelmann was the key theorist of Neoclassicism. In his widely read volumes Reflections on the Imitation of Greek Art (1755) and History of Ancient Art (1764), he proposed the study of ancient art by means of a reasoned method. Winckelmann recommended that one should take a fresh look not only at the statues and vases of antiquity but also at the whole of the ancient Greek civilization. An enthusiastic and near-fanatical scholar, he perceived an ideal beauty in the cool elegance of Greek art, the perfection of which seemed to him to transcend nature. It epitomized the "noble simplicity and calm grandeur", whereby harmony of line determines form and is more important than colour. While Winckelmann recommended the adoption of ancient forms, he disapproved of cold copying, emphasizing the importance of recreating the true Greek spirit. Standing before the Apollo BelvedereWinckelmann warned, "At first glance you may see no more than a lump of marble, but if you know how to penetrate the secrets of art you will see a marvel.''

 
 
Anton Mengs and Francesco Milizia

Winckelmann's beliefs influenced many artists including Anton Rafael Mengs, who met the great theorist in 1755. His treatise on "Beauty in Painting'1 was paraphrased by Daniel Webb in his book Inquiry into the Beauties of Painting (1760): beauty was the perfect expression of an idea, since art was above nature. The ultimate aim of painting lay, therefore, in selecting beautiful subjects found in nature, purified of all imperfection. Mengs drew on the works of many past masters: from the ancient Greeks he learned an appreciation of beauty; from Raphael, expression, composition and the treatment of drapery; fromCorreggio, the skill of chiaroscuro and a sense of beauty; and from Titian , the use of colour. His best-known work, the ceiling painting Parnassus (1760-61) in the Villa Albini (now Villa Torlonia) in Rome, was significant for breaking with the illusionism of the Baroque style, and became the visual manifesto of his theories. According to his fellow theorist Francesco Milizia (1725-98), an artist should choose the most perfect individual elements in nature and combine these to form an ideal whole. This would achieve a true representation, based on the artist's own personal vision.

 
 
NEO-PALLADIAN ARCHITECTURE


Andrea Pailadio, Villa Cornaro, Piomblno Dese, Padua, 1551-53.
This villa features on its facade a rare example of a loggia and a double layer of columns.
This design would be taken up, with many variations, 
in the plantation houses of the American Deep South.
 
 
The most loyal disciples of architect Andrea Palladio (1508-80) were the English architects who regarded the work of the Italian master as a bridge between the extremes of classicism in the l6th century and the Neoclassicism that had emerged. Palladio was a model architect to follow, not only for those in search of Renaissance concepts of form but also because the simplicity and grandeur of his buildings were strong examples on which to build classical architectural prototypes. Palladian-style architecture spread rapidly and was favoured by wealthy patrons as an expression of their rank and power. Known as Neo-Palladianism, the style suffered a setback after the death of Scottish architect Colen Campbell in 1729, but was revived by the traditionalist Sir William Chambers. It later gave way to the innovations of Robert Adam. The style reappeared in the US with the work of Thomas Jefferson.
 
 

Solen Campbell, Mereworth Castle, Kent, 1722-25. 
Here, Campbell, author of Vitruvius Britannicus, applies great elegance to the design of a country house. 
The large, central structure is derived directly from Palladio's Villa Rotonda 
(later known as Capra), Vicenza.
 
 
UNATTAINABLE GRANDEUR

When studying works of art from antiquity, artists could only feel disheartened by the awe-inspiring examples of the grandeur to which they aspired. This despair was felt keenly, recalling the dark frustrations of 17th-century irrationalism: the fear of that which was yearned for and yet considered to be unattainable. The artist Piranesi Giovanni Battista , who moved from Venice to Rome, engraved dramatic views of the ancient city, inspiring a new attitude towards antiquity, in which Roman architecture was considered superior to Greek. Elsewhere, the mark of Romantic sensibility was already appearing: Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841), a leading German architect of the 19th century, produced idealized visions of imaginary Gothic cathedrals and Greek landscapes. One of his projects left on the drawing-board was for a grandiose palace on the Acropolis in Athens designed for Otto of Wittelsbach.

 
 

Karl Friedrich Schinkel 
Berlin-old-museum
 
 
Karl Friedrich Schinkel

born March 13, 1781, Brandenburg 
died Oct. 9, 1841, Berlin 

German architect and painter whose Romantic–Classical creations in other related arts made him the leading arbiter of national aesthetic taste in his lifetime.
The son of an archdeacon, Schinkel studied architecture with the brilliant Friedrich Gilly (1798–1800) and at Berlin's Academy of Architecture (1800–02), followed by several years in Italy. Returning to Berlin via Paris (1805), he became a painter. He designed furniture for Queen Louise in 1809 that, with its rich, light-coloured pearwood, play of matched grains, and romantic simplification of form in a classical milieu, anticipated the forthcoming Biedermeier period.
Becoming state architect of Prussia in 1815, Schinkel executed many commissions for King Frederick William III and other members of the royal family. His designs were based on the revival of various historical styles of architecture; e.g., Greek Revival buildings such as the Königschauspelhaus, Berlin (1818), and the Altes Museum, Berlin (1822–30). His designs for a mausoleum for Louise (1810) and the brick and terra-cotta Werdersche Kirche, Berlin (1821–30), are among the earliest Gothic Revival designs in Europe.
In 1824 Schinkel visited Italy again and in 1826 travelled through Scotland and England. Appointed director (1830) of the Prussian Office of Public Works, he decorated apartmentsfor Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm and Prince August. His work as a city planner resulted in new boulevards and squares in Berlin. Also remembered for his stage and ironwork designs, he designed scenery for Goethe's plays, bathing the whole stage in an atmosphere of picturesque illusion.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 

Karl Friedrich Schinkel
New Guard House (Neue Wache), Berlin
 
 
 
The French Revolution

Neoclassicism was not simply an archaeological and aesthetic phenomenon, but a complete ideology. As well as its governing theoretical methods, which called for continuous application, there were also historical and social implications. In France, in particular, the movement had strong moral associations and was linked to a shift towards a more austere social outlook. The fall of the monarchy had dramatic repercussions throughout Europe. Fuelled by a financial crisis and a deep-seated social malaise, which had permeated the nation since the 1770s. the protest finally erupted into the Revolution of 1789. In the same year, the Estates General - the nobility, clergy, and commons - met to establish constitutional controls. Divisions within the Estates General led to the formation of a National Assembly by the Third Estate. During these tumultuous years, the ideological, social, and political foundations of the Neoclassical language were laid down, providing eloquent expression to the passionate politicalideals of the Revolution. A moral Utopia was sought in the aesthetic models of perfection of the ancient world, with the key players in the Revolution exploring history, art, and the nature of antiquity in their search for universalideal truths. While art did retain its pre-revolutionary educational function, its instructive themes upheld an austere, stoical morality that was representative of the new political agenda. This was expressed in the terse oratory of revolutionary leaders Robespierre and Saint-Just.

 
 
 

Jean-Baptiste Regnault (1754-1829)
Liberty or Death
1795
Kunsthalle, Hamburg


An engraver of note, Regnault revealed a love of pure form and outline In this work, which was Inspired by classical sculpture. 
Regnault represents visually one of the phrases used by radical revolutionaries during the period known as the Terror (c. 1793-95), his winged youth offering the people a dramatic choice -
 Liberty or Death
 
 
 
Art as Propaganda

The artist most closely associated with Neoclassicism in France was Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825), who expressed more powerfully than any other artist the spirit of the age. He was one of the earliest supporters of the French Revolution: a friend of Robespierre and a deputy of the Convention, he was among those who clamoured for the King's death in 1793. His work reveals the moral strictness, sobriety, and austere severity that he learned from classical art under the tutelage of Comte Joseph-Marie Vien, pioneer of Neoclassicism and a director of the French
Academy in Rome. The Oath of the Horatii cannot be regarded wholly as an appeal to republican sentiments, given that it was commissioned for the king by the Count of Angivillier. However, the painting shows a solidarity with the intense illusionism of the antique and celebrates the qualities of courage, temperance, respect for the law, and patriotism. The artist was commissioned in 1790 to paint The Oath of the Tennis Court: "To immortalize our ideas," said the purchasers, "we have chosen he who has painted Brutus and his dead son and the Horatii, the French patriot whose genius has pervaded the Revolution." After making some preliminary sketches, the artist did not complete the commission. The fall of Robespierre and the changing political climate led to his imprisonment in 1794. After his release - on the plea of his royalist wife - he produced Rape of the Sabine Women (1799). This was seen as an appeal for peace and helped the artist regain his status and position.
These were momentous times in France, with art and culture powerfully reflecting the drama of historical events. For the first time, museums came to be regarded as useful instalments for furthering public education: the Louvre was opened to the public in 1793. Morality was taught and disseminated through public monuments that were dedicated to general ideas or individuals. The cult of the personality evolved from Plutarchian ideals and gradually took hold. Napoleon, its greatest embodiment, came to be seen as the one man able to lead France out of the blind alley of the revolution without sacrificing the principles of 1789. David's life-size portrait, Napoleon in his Study(1812), was a magnificent example of pure propaganda. Depicted with the stillness and dignity of a classical statue, the emperor is elevated to heroic-status, a model of moral virtue. Also of note for its powers of glorification is The Empress Josephine in Coronation Robes (1807-08) by Francois Gerard (1770-1837), a use of pastel that was typical of a certain type of sensuous Neoclassicism. Two tendencies emerged: the minute came to be juxtaposed with the monumental, and the miniature and cameo with the colossal. The works of Pierre-Paul Prud'hon (1758-1823) typified the on-going influence of the sentimental Enlightenment concept of sensibilite on Neoclassical art. Even in the work of David, who shared the enthusiasm of his day for classical models and patrioticideals with heroes and martyrs, an element of the sensual may be found: in his Mars Disarmed by Venus and the Graces (1824), martial virtue is forsaken in favour of pure sensual pleasure. David's Greek and Roman heroes depict a revolutionary sentiment that is interwoven with dignity and gravity: they embody feeling but also suggest, in their stylized rigidity, man frozen on the eve of his decline, his submergence into a new order in which he was no longer master of the earth. During the 19th century, the social change brought about by industrialization rendered the optimism that had characterized the Age of Enlightenment problematic. The lucidity, extreme refinement and exquisite sense of composition of the best Neoclassical works came to give way to more troubled, tormented expressions - which would develop into Romanticism.

 
 
Jacques-Louis David 

Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) was born in Paris into a family of middle-class merchants. While in Rome between 1775 and 1780, he was influenced by classical sculpture and the work of Raphael, later returning to the city to paint The Oath of the Horatii. During the Revolution, David took an active part in public life. He was commissioned by the radical group the Jacobins in 1790 to paint. The Oath of the Tennis Court, which remained unfinished, and was appointed court painter by Napoleon in 1804. The artist died in exile in Brussels without receiving the royal decree that would have enabled him to return to France. "What I had to do for France, I did," he wrote to his pupil Gros shortly before his death. "I have established a brilliant school: I have created classical works that will be studied by everyone."

 
 

Jacques-Louis David
The Death of Marat
1793
Signed and dated "L'An deux"
Oil on canvas
165 x 128 cm
Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
 
 
Jean-Paul Marat was sitting in the bathtub when his last hour struck on 13 July 1793. A teacher of languages, a journalist and a physician, Marat had turned out to be one of the most radical demagogues the 1789 Revolution produced. He spent much time in the tub to find relief from a chronic, itchy rash. He wore compresses on his forehead to relieve headaches from which he also suffered. While he was bathing on that fateful day, he was reading a letter from Charlotte Corday, the great-granddaughter of the playwright Pierre Corneille. The young noblewoman had tried in vain to gain admittance to Marat. Now she had sent him a letter in which she slyly suggested a tete-a-tete. He let her in and she stabbed him. Marat died instantly.


Jacques-Louis David

Study of the head for: "The Death of Marat", 
pen and ink on white paper pasted on brown paper, 
Musée National du Chateau de Versailles.



Some contemporaries must have been pleased at the deed. Marat had been a tough customer. He had had 860 gallows erected to deal with his political enemies and had sent over 200,000 of them to the guillotine. His opponents may have considered his death a just revenge. His adherents, however, celebrated him as the martyr of a ]ust cause. 
 
 

Jacques-Louis David
The Death of Marat
(detail)
 
 
Appointed master of ceremonies at the hero's funeral, painter Jacques-Louis David was a fervent revolutionary and a personal friend of Marat. He obliged by putting Marat's corpse on canvas just as he had had it put on display: with his bare chest and wounds visible. On 15 October 1793 David presented the picture to the National Assembly. It became the symbol of the French Revolution. Copies of it were placed on church altars, smothered under billowing clouds of incense. Even in public offices copies of the painting were supposed to replace Crucifixes and royal portraits. However, before it could get out of hand, the personality cult was stopped by Robespierre's fall and the arrest of Jacques-Louis David. On 10 February the painting was removed from the chamber of the National Assembly. Marat's heart, which had been kept in the Cordeliers Club, was burnt and the ashes scattered in the Montmartre sewer.

Klaus Reichold, Bernhard Graf

 
 

The guillotine, the instrument of 
choice for beheadings during the French Revolution, 
was still being used for executions this century.
 
 

Down with the Bastille!
The destruction of the court prison, a symbol of Bourbon despotism, 
by Pierre-Antoine Demachy (1723—1807)
 
 
 
Jacques-Lois  David

1748-1825
France

The most celebrated French artist of his day and a principal exponent of the late 18th-century Neoclassical reaction against the Rococo style.
David won wide acclaim with his huge canvases on classical themes (e.g., "Oath of the Horatii," 1784. When the French Revolution began in 1789, he served briefly as its artistic director and painted its leaders and martyrs ("The Dead Marat," 1793) in a style that is more realistic than classical. Later he was appointed painter to Napoleon. Although primarily a painter of historical events, David was also a great portraitist (e.g., "Portrait de Mme Récamier," 1800).

Formative years
David was born in the year when new excavations at the ash-buried ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum were beginning to encourage a stylistic return to antiquity (without being, as was long supposed, a principal cause of that return). His father, a small but prosperous dealer in textiles, was killed in a duel in 1757, and the boy was subsequently raised, reportedly not very tenderly, by two uncles. After classical literary studies and a course in drawing, he was placed in the studio of Joseph-Marie Vien, a history painter who catered to the growing Greco-Roman taste without quite abandoning the light sentiment and the eroticism that had been fashionable earlier in the century. At age 18, the obviously gifted budding artist was enrolled in the school of the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. After four failures in the official competitions and years of discouragement that included an attempt at suicide (by the stoic method of avoiding food), he finally obtained, in 1774, the Prix de Rome, a government scholarship that not only provided a stay in Italy but practically guaranteed lucrative commissions in France. His prize-winning work, "Antiochus and Stratonice," reveals that at this point he could still be influenced slightly by the Rococo charm of the painter François Boucher, who had been a family friend.
In Italy there were many influences, including those of the dark-toned 17th-century Bolognese school, the serenely classical Nicolas Poussin, and the dramatically realistic Caravaggio. David absorbed all three, with an evident preference for the strong light and shade of the followers of Caravaggio. For a while he seemed determined to fulfill a prediction he had made on leaving France: "The art of antiquity will not seduce me, for it lacks liveliness..." But he became interested in the Neoclassical doctrines that had been developed in Rome by, among others, the German painter Anton Raphael Mengs and the art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann. In the company of Quatremère de Quincy, a young French sculptor who was a strong partisan of the return to antiquity, he visited the ruins of Herculaneum, the Doric temples at Paestum, and the Pompeian collections at Naples. In front of the ancient vases and columns, he felt, he said later, that he had just been "operated on for cataract of the eye."

Rise to fame: 1780-94

Back in Paris in 1780, he completed and successfully exhibited "Bélisaire demandant l'aumône" ("Belisarius Asking Alms"), in which he combined a nobly sentimental approach to antiquity with a pictorial technique reminiscent of Poussin. In 1782 he married the rather plain but spirited Marguerite Pécoul, whose father was a wealthy building contractor and the superintendent of construction at the Louvre--a position that carried considerable influence. From this date David prospered rapidly. The pathos and painterly skill of "Andromache Mourning Hector" brought him election to the Académie Royale in 1784; and that same year, accompanied this time by his wife and studio assistants, he returned to Rome with a commission to complete a painting that appears to have been originally inspired by a Paris performance of Pierre Corneille's Horace. The result, finally not based on any of the incidents in the play, was the "Oath of the Horatii". The subject is the solemn moment, charged with stoicism and simple courage, when the three Horatii brothers face their father and offer their lives to assure victory for Rome in the war with Alba; the pictorial treatment--firm contours, bare cubic space, sober colour, frieze-like composition, and clear lighting--is as austerely non-Rococo as the subject. Exhibited first in David's studio in Rome and then, following his return to France, in the official Paris Salon of 1785, the picture created a sensation; it was regarded as a manifesto for an artistic revival (the term Neoclassicism was not yet in use) that would cure Europe of the lingering addiction to dainty curves and boudoir themes. Eventually, it came to be regarded, although such was almost certainly not the first intention, as a manifesto for an end to the corruption of an effete aristocracy and for a return to the stern, patriotic morals attributed to republican Rome.
David became a culture hero; he was even referred to in some quarters as a messiah. He added to his fame by producing in 1787 the morally uplifting "Death of Socrates," in 1788 the less uplifting but archaeologically interesting "Amours de Paris et d'Hélene" ("Paris and Helen"), and in 1789 another lesson in self-sacrifice "Les Licteurs rapportent à Brutus les corps de ses fils" ("The Lictors Bringing to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons"). By the time the "Brutus" was on view, the French Revolution had begun, and this picture of the patriotic Roman consul who condemned his traitorous sons to death had an unanticipated political significance. It also had, through its presumably accurate reconstitution of the details of everyday Roman life, an effect that was perhaps equally unexpected, for with it David began the long and extensive influence he was to have on French fashions. Up-to-date homes began to display imitations of his Roman furniture; men cut their hair short in the Roman style; and women adopted the dresses and the coiffures of Brutus' daughters. Later on, even the flimsy Sabine dress, which left the breasts exposed, was adopted by the ultramodern.
In the early years of the Revolution, David was a member of the extremist Jacobin group led by Robespierre, and he became an energetic example of the politically committed artist. He was elected to the National Convention in 1792, in time to vote for the execution of Louis XVI. By 1793, as a member of the art commission, he was virtually the art dictator of France and was nicknamed "the Robespierre of the brush." He preached moral and aesthetic sermons to the Convention:
The artist must be a philosopher. Socrates the skilled sculptor, Jean-Jacques [Rousseau] the good musician, and the immortal Poussin, tracing on the canvas the sublime lessons of philosophy, are so many proofs that an artistic genius should have no other guide except the torch of reason.
Guided supposedly by the torch of reason and perhaps also by bitter memories of his many unsuccessful attempts to win the Prix de Rome, he succeeded in abolishing the Académie Royale and with it much of the old regime's system for training artists and providing them with patronage. The Académie was replaced briefly by a body called the Commune des Arts, then by a group called the Popular and Republican Society of the Arts, and then, finally, in 1795, after David was out of power, by the beginning of the system--a combination of the Institut de France and the École des Beaux-Arts--that dominated French artistic life during most of the 19th century.
As an artist during these years of his dictatorship, David was frequently busy with revolutionary propaganda. He had commemorative medals struck, set up obelisks in the provinces, and staged national festivals and the grandiose funerals the new government gave its martyrs. Some of his projects for paintings at this time were never completely carried out: one of these is the unfinished "Joseph Bara," which is a tribute to a drummer boy shot by the royalists, and another is the sketched "Oath of the Tennis Court" (Louvre, Musée National de Versailles et des Trianons, and the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass.), which was to commemorate the moment in 1789 when the Third Estate (the commoners) swore not to disband until a new constitution had been adopted. The "Death of Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau,"painted to honour a murdered deputy and regarded by David as one of his best pictures, was eventually destroyed. The result of all this is that the artist's Jacobin inspiration is represented principally by "The Dead Marat", painted in 1793 shortly after the murder of the revolutionary leader by Charlotte Corday. This "pietà of the Revolution," as it has been called, is generally considered David's masterpiece and an example of how, under the pressure of genuine emotion, Neoclassicism could turn into tragic Realism.

Later years: 1794-1825

In 1794, after his friend Robespierre had been sent to the guillotine, David was arrested. At his trial he is said to have defended himself badly, mumbling that in the future he intended to attach himself "to principles and not to men." He was imprisoned twice, for four months in 1794 and for two more the next year, apparently most of the time in the not uncomfortable Palais du Luxembourg in Paris. He was consoled by being allowed to paint and also by the fact that his wife, who had divorced him two years earlier for having voted for the death of the King, now loyally returned in his hour of trouble and remarried him, on this occasion for good. During his first period in prison, he painted from his window his only landscape, the "Vue du jardin du Luxembourg à Paris" ("View of the Luxembourg Gardens"). While he was held temporarily in another Paris building, he did an unfinished "Self-Portrait." At 46 he appears as a boyish young man with romantically disheveled hair, brown eyes, and a generally aggressive, if worried, look; a cheek tumour from which he suffered all of his adult life and which is said to have impeded his speech gives his face a slight twist.
Even during his imprisonment, he had retained three studios in the Louvre, and, after the amnesty of 1795, he devoted to teaching the same energy he had been devoting to revolutionary politics. Eventually, between the "Oath of the Horatii" and the Battle of Waterloo, he was responsible for the training and indoctrination of hundreds of young painters from all over Europe, among them such future masters as Baron François Gérard, Antoine-Jean Gros, and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. The indoctrination began with the premise that the basis of art was the contour, and so it can be held partly responsible for the excessive emphasis on drawing that characterized European academic painting in the 19th century. But David himself, as his works show, was not always hostile to rich chromatic effects; as late as 1860 he could be called, by no less a colourist than Eugène Delacroix, "the father of the whole modern school."
Neoclassicism was presumably inclined to scorn portraiture, because a contemporary sitter would normally lack both the universality and the nudity of an ancient statue. David, however, had done portraits, remarkable for their psychological individuality and their look of solid flesh, since the beginning of his career: in 1782-83 his sitter had been Alphonse Leroy, a Paris medical professor; in 1784 Mme Pécoul, his mother-in-law; in 1788 the chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, with Mme Lavoisier. In 1795 the freed artist portrayed his pretty, elegant sister-in-law, Mme Sériziat, and her dandyish husband. In 1799 he produced his famous period piece, "Portrait de Mme Récamier," which he left unfinished because the sitter, then at the start of her career as a reigning Paris beauty, proved unreliable about hours for posing.
But David was not a man for the life of a mere teacher and portraitist. In 1799 he made a spectacular reentry into public notice with a new giant canvas, "Les Sabines" ("The Intervention of the Sabine Women"). The picture, often mistakenly referred to as "The Rape of the Sabines," represents the moment, a few years after the legendary abduction, when the women, now contented wives and mothers, halt a battle between their Roman husbands and the Sabine men who have come on an unwanted rescue mission; in the middle of the melee stands the lovely Sabine woman Hersilia, appealing with one arm toward the Roman Romulus and the other toward the bearded Sabine Tatius. The artist had said that his aim was to move away from the allegedly crude Roman manner of the "Oath of the Horatii" into a more graceful Greek manner, and he did win enthusiastic applause for the elegance of his figures. He also won some approval for his supposed intention to preach conciliation after 10 years of bloodletting in France. But he attracted perhaps the most attention with the nakedness of his ancient warriors; having ceased to be the Robespierre of the brush, he now became, in a popular jingle, "the Raphael of the sans-culottes" ("without breeches"; the radical Republicans).
Napoleon admired "The Intervention of the Sabine Women" and saw possibilities for self-aggrandizement in the talent displayed. Soon David, without acquiring political office, was again a government painter, first under the Consulate and then, after 1804, under the Empire. He was not, however, the only prominent Frenchman to move from the Jacobin left to the Bonapartist right, and he had evidently always been a worshiper of historical heroes. His most important Napoleonic work is the huge "Coronation" of 1805-07, sometimes called "Napoleon Crowning the Empress Josephine"; in it Neoclassicism gives way to a style that combines the official portraiture of the old French monarchy with overtones--and occasional straight imitation--of the masters of the Italian Renaissance. This picture was followed in 1810 by the large "Napoleon Distributing the Eagles" and in 1812 by "Napoleon in His Study", a sharply perceptive portrait notwithstanding its conspicuously propagandistic intention.
After the fall of Napoleon in 1815, David was exiled to Brussels. Cut off from the excitement and stimulus of the great events he had lived through, he lost much of his old energy. Toward the end of his life, he executed, probably with considerable help from a Belgian pupil, François-Joseph Navez, one more remarkably convincing portrait: "Les Trois Dames dites de Gand" ("Three Women of Ghent").

Encyclopædia Britannica 

 
 
 
Andrea Appiani

Andrea Appiani (1754-1817) was Napoleon's official painter in Italy. 
Between 1803 and 1817, he praised the Emperor's achievements in a series of panels in the Carvatid room of the Palazzo Reale in Milan. As the number of subjects multiplied, his pictorial language became increasingly-complex. 
He used powerful chiaroscuro effects in the style of Caravaggio.

 
 
Andrea Appiani

b Milan, 31 May 1754; d Milan, 8 Nov 1817.

Italian painter and designer. He had been intended to follow his father’s career in medicine but instead entered the private academy of the painter Carlo Maria Giudici (1723–1804). He received instruction in drawing, copying mainly from sculpture and prints. He studied Raphael through the engravings of Marcantonio Raimondi, as well as the work of Giulio, Anton Raphael Mengs and, again from prints, the compositions in Trajan’s Column. He then joined the class of the fresco painter Antonio de’ Giorgi (1720–93), which was held at the Ambrosiana picture gallery in Milan, where he was able to study Raphael’s art directly from the cartoon of the School of Athens and the work of Leonardo’s followers, particularly Bernardino Luini. He also frequented the studio of Martin Knoller, where he deepened his knowledge of painting in oils; and he studied anatomy at the Ospedale Maggiore in Milan with the sculptor Gaetano Monti (1750–1847). His interest in aesthetic issues was stimulated by the classical poet Giuseppe Parini, whom he drew in two fine pencil portraits (Milan, Brera; Milan, Mus. Poldi Pezzoli). In 1776 he entered the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera to follow the painting courses of Giuliano Traballesi, from whom he received a mastery of the fresco technique and the encouragement to make copies after Domenichino and Correggio.

 
 

Andrea Appiani
Parnassus
 Villa Reale (now the Museum of Modern Art), Milan, 1811 

The Villa Reale, built by Leopold Pollak in 1790 for Count Barbiano of Belgiojoso, was given to Napoleon in 1802. 
This fresco, Appianis last work, decorates the ceiling of the dining room. 
With its theme of Apollo and the Muses, it was intended as a tribute to the Bonapartes as patrons of the arts.
 
 

Andrea Appiani
The Apotheosis of Napoleon I
Throne room of the Palazzo Reale, Milan, 1808

Andrea Appiani was Napoleon's official painter in Italy. Between 1803 and 1817, he praised the Emperor's achievements 
in a series of panels in the Carvatid room of the Palazzo Reale in Milan. As the number of subjects multiplied, 
his pictorial language became increasingly-complex. He used powerful chiaroscuro effects in the style of Caravaggio. 
 In this fresco, the King of Italy, supported by the Eagle and by the Victories, is crowned by the Hours.
 
 

Andrea Appiani
Napoleon As King of Italy
 
 

Andrea Appiani
Portrait of Napoleon I Bonaparte as King of Italy.
1805 
 
 

Andrea Appiani
Allegory on the Peace of Pressburg

1808
Oil on wood, 38 x 46 cm
Pushkin Museum, Moscow
 
 

Andrea Appiani
General Napoleon Bonaparte
 
 

Andrea Appiani
Josephine Bonaparte de Beauharnais incorona il mirto sacro a Venere
1796
 
 

Andrea Appiani
Josephine Bonaparte
 
 

Andrea Appiani
Portrait Eugene Beauharnais 
 
 

 Andrea Appiani
Portrait of General Louis-Charles-Antoine Desaix De Veygoux
1800-01
Oil on canvas, 115 x 88 cm
Musée National de Château, Versailles
 
 

Andrea Appiani
Portrait of Prince Eugene de Beauharnais Viceroy of Italy and Duke of Leuchtenberg
1810
 
 

Andrea Appiani
Mme Hamelin
1798 
 
 

Andrea Appiani
Maria-Morigia Reina
 
 

Andrea Appiani
Ritratto di Madame Petiet con i figli.
1800
 
 

Andrea Appiani
Madame Regnault de Saint-Jean d'Angely
 
 

Andrea Appiani
La toeletta di Giunone
1810 
 
 

Andrea Appiani
Madonna and Child
 
 
 
NAPOLEON, THE SUPREME NEOCLASSICAL HERO

General Napoleon Bonaparte was 28 when he first visited David's studio. David regarded him as a hero: when he was in danger because of his friendship with Robespierre, Napoleon offered him a secret hiding place in his encampment in Italy. Seeking to glorify the emperor's image. David painted him crossing the Alps on 20 May 1800. He is depicted against a mountainous background, advancing not on foot but. unrealistically, on horseback. As fiction and reality-merge, he assumes a dramatic, mythical dimension. Napoleon's exploits were documented on canvas by a variety of European artists. His career from general to emperor and king was depicted in larger-than-life historical imagery: he is seen beaten back from the Alps like Hannibal: victorious in Egypt like Caesar; and restored as emperor like Charlemagne. For about twenty years, Napoleon, who was neither handsome nor athletic, was wholly transformed by artists into the supreme Neoclassical hero. The entire Bonaparte family was made the subject of work by the great Neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova (1757—1822). Napoleon's sister was portrayed as a Roman goddess in Pauline Bonaparte Borgbese as Venus Victorious (1804-05), while his mother, Letizia Ramolino, was the model for a terracotta in the collection at Possagno, Canova's birthplace. The sculptor also created a heroic nude marble statue of Napoleon, endowing him with all the qualities of a Greek god -just as the Romans had portrayed Augustus as divine and the young Marcellus as a 'prince of youth". Titled Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker, the statue was later duplicated in bronze ( 1811 ).

 
 

Roman statue of 
Marcus Claudius Marcellus
 Musee du Louvre, Paris. 
The young nephew and son-in-law of Augustus, who died in 23bc, is portrayed in heroic nude pose as princeps uventutis, the heir apparent of his uncle.
 
Antonio Canova
Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker
1803-08 
Apsley House, London
Canova's heroic nude, shown advancing victoriously bearing an orb, a sceptre, and the imperial mantle, was not to the emperor's taste.

Antonio Canova
Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker
1810
Louvre, Paris
 
 
 
ANTONIO CANOVA

Having completed his early studies between Pagnano, near Asolo, and Venice, Antonio Canova (1757-1822) established his career in Rome in 1779. His commissions alternated between much-admired papal monuments (Clement XIV and Clement XIII) and secular subjects, but he declined invitations to attend the Russian Court, unlike his friend Giacomo Quarenghi, who had gone there in 1779. Canova went to Vienna in 1798 to fulfil a commission for a monument of Maria Christina of Austria for the Augustine Church. In the same year, France made Rome a republic and paid the artist a great tribute by electing him a member of the National Institute and appointing him Inspector General of Antiquities and Fine Arts for the State and Church. 
He went to Paris in 1803 to paint Napoleon and plan a colossal statue of the emperor as"Mars the Peacemaker". In 1815, he was asked by the Papal State to recover works of art confiscated by the French. Before his return to Italy, he was invited to London to give his opinion on the authenticity of the Elgin marbles. At the age of 65, he returned to Venice, where he died.

 
 
Canova Antonio

b Possagno, nr Treviso, 1 Nov 1757; d Venice, 13 Oct 1822.
Italian sculptor, painter, draughtsman and architect.
He was the most innovative and widely acclaimed sculptor of NEO-CLASSICISM. 
His development during the 1780s of a new style of revolutionary severity and idealistic purity led many of his contemporaries to prefer his ideal sculptures to such previously universally admired Antique statues as the Medici Venus and the Farnese Hercules, thus greatly increasing the prestige of ‘modern’ sculpture. He was also much in demand as a portrait sculptor, often combining a classicizing format with a naturalistic presentation of features.
 
 

Antonio Canova
Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victorious
1804-1805
Hermitage, St Petersburg
 
 

Antonio Canova
The Three Graces
1816
Hermitage, St Petersburg
 
Antonio Canova
Venus Italica
1804-12
Pitti Gallery, Florence
 
 
The theme of Venus, as a single figure or part of a group, standing erect or reclining, recurs in the work of Canova, who used it to express sensual beauty and divine dignity.
 
 

Antonio Canova
Cupid and Psyche
1796
Hermitage, St Petersburg
 
 

Antonio Canova
Dancer
1812
Hermitage, St Petersburg
 
 

Antonio Canova
The Repentant Mary Magdalene
1809
Hermitage, St Petersburg
 
 

Antonio Canova
Bust of a Vestal Virgin
 
Antonio Canova
The Genius of Death
Hermitage, St Petersburg
 
 

Antonio Canova
Nymph
 
 

Antonio Canova
Paris
Hermitage, St Petersburg
 
Antonio Canova
Helen
 
 

Antonio Canova
Hebe
1805
Hermitage, St Petersburg
 
Antonio Canova
Cupid and Psyche
1808
Hermitage, St Petersburg
 
 

Antonio Canova
Theseus and Centaur
 
 

Antonio Canova
Maddalena Penitente
1809
Hermitage, St Petersburg
 
Antonio Canova
Dedal and Icarus
 
 

Antonio Canova
Cain
1846
 
Antonio Canova
Orpheus
1770
Hermitage, St Petersburg
 
 

Antonio Canova
Cupid
Hermitage, St Petersburg
 
Antonio Canova
Danzatrice con dito al mento
1814
 
 

Antonio Canova
Apollo crowning himself
 
Antonio Canova
Perseus with the Head of Medusa
1806
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
 
 
 

 
 
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