Departing from the Rococo style of the mid Seventeenth Century where decadence and luxurious lifestyles were symptomatic of the aristocracy, Neoclassicism emerged out of an increasing tendency to value the public virtues of classic Greek and Roman cultures and attempted to convey those morals in the subjects represented through a sense of order, harmony and proportion. These virtues included patriotism, morality, self sacrifice, and "the right action" above all else (Sayre, 2009). Jacques Louis David was one of the most accomplished and best well known painters of his day. Having been imprisoned during the chaos of the French Revolution, he saw the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte as the redemption of France, when he proclaimed himself first consul of the Republic and again when he proclaimed himself Emperor of France. The pinnacle of the French Empire brought with it the revival of classic Greek and Roman architecture, art, and virtues. The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries, exemplifies the virtues of neoclassicism and typifies the reemergence of classic Greek and Roman, virtues that David felt Bonaparte's Empire stood for. This classical painting contrasts with Impressionist work by attempting to capture the ideals that the subject demonstrated and conveying them through the artwork.
Impressionism was developed in the late 19th Century and named after Claude Monet's Impression-Sunrise and a group of painters, engravers, and sculptors who held a group exhibition in April 1874. This painting used airy brush strokes that blended two pigments at the same time and painted "wet on wet." Blurring the lines and blending paint is only part of what exemplifies Impressionistic paintings. Impressionists conveyed a striking sensation of a scene almost as if they were capturing a photograph, clearly departing from the Realists a generation prior, yet felt no need to capture noble ideals as the Neoclassicists did. They painted intense images interested in leisure...
References: Sayre, H. M. (2009). A world of art (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Prentice Hall.
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