Neoclassicism and Contemporary Design WorkOverviewNeoclassicism was the primary artistic style during the Enlightenment period. This periodwas known as the age of reason, and it began in Europe and other colonies of America. The movement primary goal was uniting the society through the power of reason. This period lasted for over a century promoting intellectual exchange, science, and reason. The idea of Enlightenment emerged as a result of the new technology and out of a blackash of the preceding systems that valued tradition and church above everything else. The Enlightenment built the modern intellectual and political culture foundation. It discouraged the critics of the aristocracy in France and the corruption of Louis XVI. This is what marked the beginning of the French Revolution. Previous to the Enlightenment, Rocco was the dominant artistic style. The new ideas of the Enlightenment took over and condemned Rocco style of being indulgent, indecent, and immoral; building a new kind of instructive known as Neoclassicism. This was an era of orderliness as a means of correcting the ills of the state. Neoclassicism presented innovative ideas for the middle class. Enlightenment revolutionized art from rococo to neoclassicism as the society became more educated, shifting intellectual, economic, and political factors within the society. The new style had several features that differentiated it from the rococo style. Neoclassicism is famous due to its associated with the French revolution and its great influence on the modern or contemporary design.
NEOCLASSICISM AND ROCOCO 10The Neoclassic Style This is the period of classical revival that drew inspiration from the culture on ancient Rome and Greece, and classical art. Neoclassicism coincided with the era of enlightenment and continued up to the 19thcentury. Neoclassical style was the direct opposite of Rococo and focused on simplicity, symmetry, and order. All arts are encompassed in neoclassicism, includingmusic, sculpture, literature, decorative arts, painting, and architecture. Neoclassic styles are identified by the minimal color, adherence to classical techniques and values, simplicity, minimalcolor use, and the use of straight lines. The period saw the rise of classical music and the works of Jacques-Louis David. The period was however more felt in architecture, decorative arts, and sculpture. Figure 1: Oath of Horatii; Jacques-Louis DavidNeoclassical architecture was a reaction against the Rococo style. Neoclassical painting was characterized by depiction of light, and a smooth paint surface. The softness of paint
NEOCLASSICISM AND ROCOCO 11application in Rococo style is the opposite of neoclassical style. Many artists in the neoclassicism period combined Romanticism aspects. The paintings in this period depicted historical events, the architecture of the ancient Rome ruins, and mythological scenes.