There has been an effort to look into the history of creativity and inspiration in art. Many critics have tried to find the origin of the organized art periods that can be traced to ancient times. Art has a broad definition and can be referred to as a form of expressing ourselves and how we see ourselves and the environment around us. Art enables people to find themselves and lose themselves at the same time. It gives the description of how the world is perceived through our senses. Art can also be used to assist us in being focused and staying true to our beliefs by expressing them, as it gives the roadmap of where we have been, what we have gone through and its relation to where we are headed. There are many art periods but I have chosen to discuss the Rococo and the Classical period.
Rococo was an art period that existed between 1710 and 1750. It dominated the period and affected several aspects of the art world including literature, interior designing, and paintings, making of sculptures, decoration, theatre, architecture and music. It originated in the Paris capital of modern France as a reaction to the strictness and stuffiness of the baroque style of art. The Rococo artists had opted for a more graceful and florid approach to the baroque style of art and architecture. The word Rococo was derived from the name “rocaille” which means pebble. The term particularly referred to the tiny stones and the shells that were used to decorate the interiors of grottoes. The Rococo movement had initially been limited to France before it spread all over Europe where it dominated the art wordworld before the introduction of neoclassicism that was brought by to attempt the revival of Classical antiquity.
Rococo, unlike Baroque, was not interested in the religious matters and their dramatic expressions. It was characterized by the symbolic profoundness of the hedonism of the European upper- classes. It was also characterized by the graceful enchantment, themes that were lighthearted and expressed forms of flirtation and love in the midst of aristocracy. The artistic style also portrayed sentiments that overwhelmed emotionalism and reason. The paintings in the style portray cleverness, reflection and sensual fantasy. In the Rococo portraiture, the paintings of beautiful aristocrats that showed off bliss with their velvet and elegant laces that enriched the embroidery. The faces in the portraits were characterized by softness and an effeminate presentation that was both rosy and showed eternal youth. The figures of the noblemen are seen as tall, willowy, charming and stylish where they depict a dreamy and light -hearted nature. The female figures in the portraits are seen to be light and of delicate nature whereand appear as if they are almost flying away. Their faces show strong sentiment and give a childish emotion, their lips also depicting soft mischief with their delicate smile that is enchanting. Its music is also characterized by keyboard and orchestral music that paid attention to key detail. One of the famous works of Rococo art is the painting on the embarkation for Cythera. The painting, commonly known as the "Voyage to Cythera", was painted by a French artist by the name of Jean-Antoine Watteau. The painting is a major inspiration to the present time-day artists where it is viewed in Paris.
The art period that followed the Rococo art period is the Classical era that sprung after a strong reaction against the former. The objections arose mainly due to the nature of the rococo artistic style being too shallow and the abusive usage of decoration and ornamentation for selfish reasons. The relation between the two periods was closedifferent in that, the classical era came in to emphasize detail and depth as opposed to the Rococo period. The classical period thrived betweenin the period from 1775 andto 1825 period. It obtained its name due to the nature of its artistic work and form of literature. It was keenly interested in the classical artistic and literal heritage of the ancient Greece and Rome, whereas it showed admiration and emulation of the civilizations. This period was commonly referred to as the enlightenment phase where art evolved tointo conscious attempts inat rendering human and animal forms in a more realistic manner.
The ideology of the neoclassical art was borrowed from the classical art that was initially started by the Greeks in the ancient times, to honor their diverse pantheon of gods. They created sculptures and elegant forms of architecture in marble. The classical artists were mainly focused in the portrayal of beauty of humans where they created sculptures that were very naturalistic. After conquering the Greeks, the Romans adapted this form of art as they believed it was unparalleled. The musical scene was also affected with the changes in the society being reflected in the music as a result of the classical art period. Some critics argue that the neoclassical art periods were subsections of the initial classical period. The minor changes that occurred over time resulted in the development of the neoclassical period from classical art. It affected the social scene and the main influence of this form of artistry can be seen in the reception it gotreceived from the public, where, for the first time in history, public concerts had become a major component of the musical scene, overcoming the common siting of songs being composed for only the Church and the Court. The neoclassical art scene completely turned around the music industry whereand neoclassical music still exists in the modern scene.
An example of artistic work during the neoclassical period was the choral symphony that included parts written for orchestra and choir. The most famous and earliest work was the Ninth symphonySymphony by Beethoven. The classical period influenced the requiem and church mass forms of music that are still in use to datetoday. Neoclassicism can be viewed as a revival of the Greek and Roman classical period as well. However, its representations of art were always produced contemporarily but the inspiration was derived from those ancient civilizations, whereas classicism may refer to the actual works produced during the period of antiquity. The famous painting that depicts Venus inducing Helen to fall in love with Paris is a great reflection of neoclassical art. The drawing by Angelica Kauffman influenced religion for several years. It was painted in 1790 and illustrated the Greco-Roman religious gods.
While Watteau's Voyage to Cythera portrays playful frolicking and ardour, it does not play a significant role in religion nor does it embody religious themes of the time. However, Kauffman's work has had a long-time influence on religion and religious thinkers since its rendering.
There are several similarities and differences between the two art periods, rococo and neoclassical. The similarities include the attention to detail and the efforts to bring splendor and grace to art. They were culminated with the colorful decorations and blissful nature. Their differences beginsbegin from their originorigins where classical error came upevolved so as to develop deeper, more meaningful art. The other difference is that the rococo artistic style mainly dealt with portraits and interior decorations while classical mainly affected the music scene, mainly focusing on forming sculptures and art that was more real and the impression of the artists werewas also more pronounced during the classical period. The classical period had thrived at the time where the Christian religion (now known as the Roman Catholic) influenced the major civilizations atin the then -known world. As the Church grew in power and influence, its artistic genres of choice became more influential. The French Revolution played a significant role in the decline of the rococo genre as well, as it was seen to be highly-regarded by King Louis XV. The churchChurch, being known for the stress they had in music, played a major roleinrole in the nurturing of the classical art changes, that later resulted to theevolved into neoclassical art, which was deeper and more meaningful to modern-day taste. The music developed at the time is still in use by the Roman Catholic Church and many genres have borrowed techniques from the unique genre. Neoclassicism in music was not only restricted to the 18th and 19th centuries, but as the 20th-century began, music tended to directly reflect music composed earlier. Nowhere perhaps is neoclassicism more evident today than in the signature of so-called classical music. Its influence can also be found in architecture (with its use of columns and capitals).
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