2 Key IdeasThe Enlightenment brought about a rejection of royal and aristocratic authority. The Rococo style was replaced by the Neoclassical, which was perceived as more democratic.Neoclassicism was inspired by the unearthing of the ruins at Pompeii and the books of art theorist Johann Winckelmann.Even if works of art depict current events or contemporary portraits, there are frequent classical allusionsThe late eighteenth century was the age of the Industrial Revolution: new technologies such as cast iron were introduced into architecture, and for the first time it became more economical to carve from bronze than marble.
3 Background Industrial Revolution Population Boom due to mass-production, technological innovation and medical scienceImprovements in quality of life that the Industrial Revolution yielded was offset to mechanized work and inhuman working conditions.Europe gets swept by a new intellectual transformation called The Enlightenment. Philosophers and scientists based their ideas on logic and observation, rather than tradition and folk wisdom. Knowledge began to be structured in a deliberate way: Denis Diderot (1713—1784) organized and edited a massive 52-volume French encyclopedia in 1764, Samuel Johnson (1709—1784) composed the first English dictionary singlehandedly in 1755, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau discussed how a legitimate government was an expression of the general will in his 1762 Social Contract.
4 Patrons & Artists Rome saw little artistic progress This was magnified by the discovery of Pompeii. As Roman works were being dug up the world would admire the ancient city.Pompeii inspired art theorist Johann Winckelmann (1717—1768) to publish The History of Ancient Art in 1764, which many consider the first art history book. Winckelmann heavily criticized the waning Rococo as decadent, and celebrated the ancients for their purity of form and crispness of execution.This inspired a renewed interest in the ancients. Academies sprang up in Europe and the US. Artists would train in what was thought proper classical tradition—part of that training sent many artists to Rome to study works firsthand.The blessings of the Neoclassical period were firmly entrenched in the mind of art professionals and educated amateurs.
5 Architectural Innovations Introduction of Cast Iron (not to be confused with Steel)Classicists saw the daring use of exposed iron as an anathema because ancient buildings with their massive stone walls were to them the only acceptable building medium. Gradual change. Even conservative architects recognized the strength and economy of metal construction and used these material in the substructure or behind the walls of stone or wood buildings.
6 Characteristics of Neoclassical Architecture Clever mix of classical principles into modern frameworkOutward character of the Roman works and tailored to living in the eighteenth centuryGreek and Roman columns, capitals on façade of great houses. Pediment crowned entrances and a topped windows. Domes graced the center of homes creating gallery space. Almost perfectly symmetrical. Rectangular rooms almost mirroring each other. Each room a different theme. Like the White House sometimes labeled ‘The Green Room’, ‘The Red Room’.
7 Chiswick HouseRichard Boyle and William Kent, Chiswick House, 1725, London, EnglandBoyle: amateur architect. Kent interior and designerInfluenced of Palladian motif of the decorated balls on the balustrade of the main floor; Palladian low dome; main floor raised over exposed basement level; pediments over windows and doorsJones statue at far right (father of English classicism)Symmetrical balance of façade, even chimneys were balanced
8 Chiswick HouseUn-Italian are the large semicircular dome windows and obelisk like chimneysRusticated bottom floor influenced by Italian Renaissance buildingsClear, open, white stone surface above, with no ornamentationBaroque tradition lingers in the double staircase that changes view as it ascendsDomed central room is an art gallery containing busts and paintingsNot a real residence, but a pavilion where Boyle would entertain guests and show his art collectionRichly decorated rooms of brilliant color
9 MonticelloThomas Jefferson, Monticello, 1770—1806, Charlottesville, Virginia“Little Mountain” in ItalianChief building on Jefferson’s plantationSymmetrical interior designBrick building, stucco applied to trim to give the effect of marbleTall French doors and windows to allow circulation in hot Virginia summers
10 MonticelloAppears to be a one-story building with a dome, but the balustrade hides the second floorInspired by Palladio and Roman ruins in FranceOctagonal domeJefferson obsessed with saving space in his home: very narrow spiral staircases, beds in alcoves or in walls between rooms
11 The Royal CrescentJohn Wood the Younger, The Royal Crescent, 1769—1775, Bath, EnglandBath is a summer resort where the wealthy can take in the health benefits of the naturally warmed watersWood’s Roman design is in keeping with Bath being an ancient Roman cityThirty residences in an elliptical sweepGrand Ionic columns rhythmically framing windowsBalustraded cornice unifies compositionTypically English chimney pots placed at rhythmically spaced points along the rooflineEnglish characteristic in great length of the crescentPublic rooms on the second floor of the houses to provide a majestic view down the hill below
12 Coalbrookdale BridgeAbraham Darby and Thomas Pritchard, Coalbrookdale Bridge, , EnglandFirst substantial structure made of ironFive parallel metal Roman archesCast iron is brittle, but the clever design has made the bridge stand effectively
13 Painting InnovationsArtists cloak their modern sitters in ancient garb, and make their faces more noble to appear antiqueExample; Canova sculpted George Washington to look like a Roman GeneralDespite the new idea Benjamin West took epic contemporary events and would wrap the figures in modern drapery as in Death of General Wolfe
14 Painting Characteristics Reminiscent of antiquityMythological or Biblical scenes with modern contextHoratii might be boring if it didn’t add the implication of self-sacrifice for the greater goodThis would be called exemplum virtitus; a painting that tells a moral tale for the viewer
15 Painting Characteristics Even without exemplum virtitus they would have reference to subtexts inviting the viewer to take measure of a person, a situation, and a state of affairs.Copley’s portrait of Samuel Adams considering Adams statement about the Boston MassacreCompositions were symmetrical, with linear perspective leading the eyeMostly invisible brushwork and clear detail
16 Samuel AdamsJohn Singleton Copley, Samuel Adams, , oil on canvas, Museum of Fine Arts, BostonPortrait contains forceful and direct gaze, engaging the spectator in a confrontation; focus on the headFigure up close to the picture planeRich colors, concentration on reflective surfacesMeticulous handling of paintAdams pointing in an animated way at the Massachusetts charter; confronting the Massachusetts governor over the Boston Massacre; powerful gesture
18 Death of General WolfeBenjamin West, Death of General Wolfe, 1771, oil on canvas, National Gallery, OttawaScene depicting the Battle of Quebec in 1759An attempt to show the entire battle in the background of the painting: English boats unloading their cannon in early morning at extreme right; cannon put in place in center distance at mid-morning; battle at left with Quebec cathedral breaking through the smokeVery short battle, French in disarray and running from the battle sceneFrench colors captured at left and brought to General Wolfe before his deathWolfe died nearly alone, but in the painting he is surrounded by friends and admiresWolfe’s unflattering looks, his cleft chin, his large protruding eyes, his small mouth, and his upturned nose are minimized in his upturned heavenward glance
19 Death of General WolfeWolfe’s unflattering looks, his cleft chin, his large protruding eyes, his small mouth, and his upturned nose are minimized in his upturned heavenward glanceCompositional arrangement in thirds reflects triptych, like compositions of the Renaissance; triangular units reflect High Renaissance paintingsReligious associations of the victory: Protestantism over CatholicismWolfe bathed in the pool of light; he is in the pose of Christ being taken down from the cross
20 Wolfe’s pose also cf. Dying Gaul and Michelangelo’s Pieta Native American sets the scene as the Americas and contemplates the consequences of Wolfe’s victoryGreat innovation in portraying Wolfe in contemporary costume rather than Roman robes
21 Cornelia Pointing to Her Children as Treasures Angelica Kauffman, Cornelia Pointing to Her Children as Treasures, 1785, oil on canvas, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, RichmondExemplum VirtutisStory and setting is Roman, with figures before an Italian backgroundCornelia, a noble woman, is shown jewelry by a visitor who asks to see Cornelia’s jewelsCornelia responds that her children are her jewels and presents her sons; interestingly, her daughter is not presented in this lightA truly noble woman places her children above material possessions
23 Oath of the HoratiiJacques-Louis David, Oath of the Horatii, 1784, oil on canvas, Louvre, ParisExemplum virtutisStory of three Roman brothers (the Horatii) who do battle with three other brothers (the Curiatii) from a nearby city; they pledge their fidelity to their father and to RomeOne of the three women on right is a Horatii engaged to one of the Curiatii brothers; another woman is the sister of the Curiatii brothersForms are vigorous, powerful, animated, emphaticGestures are sweeping and unifiedFigures pushed to the foregroundNeoclassical drapery and tripartite composition
24 Oath of the HoratiiNot Neoclassical in its Caravaggio-like lighting and un-Roman architectural capitalsPainted under royal patronage
25 Death of MaratJacques-Louis David, Death of Marat, 1793, oil on canvas, Royal Museum, BrusselsMarat was a leader of the French Revolution, who was stabbed in his bathtub by Charlotte Corday, a more moderate revolutionary who denounced the killing of the kingSuffering from skin cancer, Marat took baths for hours to relieve the itch; he is not shown with the effects of cancer except for his turban soaked in vinegar, thought to have been a cure
26 Death of MaratHis desk is set up in the tub so he can do work; killed at the moment of issuing a letter of condolencesKilled with a butcher knife with blood still on the handlePose is the Descent from the Cross, or Michelangelo’s PietaTombstone like desk inscribed “To Marat, David, Year 2” reflecting the French Revolution’s reordering of the calendarCaravaggio-like lighting
27 Sculpture Prior to Industrial Revolution, bronze was inefficient Mass production of metal in England & Germany caused price of bronze to fallStonework relied on manual labor; a high costIt was felt that ancients preferred marble and so it seemed more authentic and more authoritative in appealIt was also assumed the ancient preferred unpainted sculpture; because the painted on the marbles came off over time
28 Sculptural Characteristics Mindful of the classicsDesire for the realismWrapped in robes but in more realistic contemporary posesCarved from white marble with no paint added