Neo-classical neo-classicism


A term meaning ???New??? classicism, it was a style in 19th-century European and American painting and sculpture that referred back to the classical styles of Greece and Rome. Neo-Classicism became popular in an era of idealism and suggested the "ideal life reborn" (Couper) and the celebration of the perfect human form as a work of god's creation. Neo-classical artworks have sharp and realistic delineation of the human figure, reserved emotional tone, deliberate and often mathematical composition, and cool colors such as white marble. Neoclassicism was taught in art academies in the 19th century, but was suppressed in popularity in the early 20th century by more emotion-based styles such as Impressionism and Social Realism. Italian Antonio Canova and Danish Bertel Thorvaldsen were leading neo-classical sculptors working in Rome. American painters and sculptors who worked in the Neo-Classical style include Charles Willson Peale, John Vanderlyn, Hiram Powers, Harriet Hosmer, Edwin Weeks, Henry Benbridge, Bessie Vonnoh, Thomas Crawford, Albert Herter, William Couper, Edmonia Lewis and Erastus Palmer: Sources:, courtesy Michael Delahunt; Greta Elena Couper, ???An American Sculptor on the Grand Tour???; Online Encyclopedia of Irish and World Artists.

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