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The quantity and diversity of artistic works during the period do not fit easily into categories for interpretation, but some loose generalizations may be drawn. At the opening of the century, baroque forms were still popular, as they would be at the end.
They were partially supplanted, however, by a general lightening in the rococo motifs of the early s.
This was followed, after the middle of the century, by the formalism and balance of neoclassicism, with its resurrection of Greek and Roman models. In painting, rococo emphasized the airy grace and refined pleasures of the salon and the boudoir, of delicate jewelry and porcelains, of wooded scenes, artful dances, and women, particularly women in the nude.
Rococo painters also specialized in portraiture, showing aristocratic subjects in their finery, idealized and beautified on canvas.
The rococo painting of Antoine Watteau blended fantasy with acute observations of nature, conveying the ease and luxury of French court life. Italian painters, such a Giovanni Tiepoloalso displayed rococo influences.
English painting lacked the characteristic rococo frivolity, but the style affected works by Sir Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsboroughwhose portraits tended to flatter their aristocratic subjects.
Eighteenth-century neoclassicism in painting is difficult to separate from some works in the era of Louis XIV. Both Charles Le Brun and Nicolas Poussin had earlier projected order and balance, often in grandiose scenes from antiquity or mythology. Jean Chardin carried some of this over into the s.
The neoclassic approach, however, often expressed powerful dissatisfaction and criticism of the existing order, sometimes in stark realism and sometimes in colossal allegory. The most typical representative of this approach was Jacques Louis Davidwhose most famous work, Death of Socrates illustrates his respect for Greco-Roman tradition.
His sketch of Marie Antoinette enroute to the guillotine clearly represents his revolutionary sympathies. The best examples of pure realism and social criticism are the London street scenes by the English painter William Hogarth and the Spanish court portraits of Francisco Goya The number of women painters increased during the eighteenth century, but they were so limited by traditions and so dependent upon public favor that they could hardly maintain consistent styles.
Very few were admitted to academies, where their work might be shown; in France, they were not permitted to work with nude models. The result was their practical restriction to still-life and portraiture.
Among rococo painters, the two best-known were Rachel Ruyscha court painter of flowers in Dusseldorf, and Rosalba Carrieraa follower of Watteau, who was admitted to the French Academy in If possible, they were overshadowed by Angelica Kaufmanna Swiss-born artist who painted in England and Italy.
All three were celebrated intheir time. Each produced grand scenes in the neoclassical style, but their market limited them to flattering portraits, at which they excelled. Neoclassicism also found expression in architecture and sculpture.
Architecture was marked by a return to the intrinsic dignity of what a contemporary called "the noble simplicity and tranquil loftiness of the ancients. In England, where the classical style had resisted baroque influences, the great country houses of the nobility now exhibited a purity of design, which often included a portico with Corinthian columns.
Mount Vernon is an outstanding example of neoclassicism in colonial America. The trend in sculpture often revived classical themes from Greek and Roman mythology; statues of Venus became increasingly popular.
Claude Michel and Jean Houdon were two French neoclassical sculptors who also achieved notable success with contemporary portraits. At the opening of the eighteenth century, music demonstrated typical baroque characteristics.
These were evident in instrumental music, especially that of the organ and the strings.
The most typical baroque medium was opera, with its opulence and highly emotional content. The era culminated in the sumptuous religious music of Johann Sebastian Bacha prolific German organ master and choir director. Composers of the late eighteenth century turned from the heavy and complex baroque styles to classical music of greater clarity, simpler structures, and more formal models.
Plain, often folklike melodies also became common.
With the appearance of symphonies, sonatas, concertos, and chamber music, less interest was shown in mere accompaniment for religious services or operatic performances.
The general emphasis on technical perfection, melody, and orchestration is summed up in the work of the Austrian composers Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Haydn wrote over symphonies, along with numerous other works. Mozart wrote more than works, including 41 symphonies, 22 operas, and 23 string quartets, climaxing his career with his three most famous operas: Musical expression at the turn of the century was touched by the genius of the immortal German composer Ludwig van Beethoven The passion of his sonatas and symphonies expressed a revolutionary romanticism, which challenged the sedate classicism of his time.
Indeed, the verbal media of poetry, drama, prose, and exposition were commonly used to convey the new philosophic principles. In his most famous work, An Essay on ManPope expressed the optimism and respect for reason that marked the era. He described a Newtonian universe in the following often quoted lines: All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body nature is, and God the soulIn David's Death of Socrates the emphasis is established by the man in the white robe pointing his finger to the sky.
His body is very prominent and the only one almost completely square to the front, and because also of his emotion presented is excited and alive.
The 18th Century proudly referred to itself as the "Age of Enlightenment" and rightfully so, for Europe had dwelled in the dim glow of the Middle Ages when suddenly the lights began to come on in men's minds and humankind moved forward.
The Death of Socrates (French: La Mort de Socrate) is an oil on canvas painted by French painter Jacques-Louis David in The painting focuses on a classical subject like many of his works from that decade, in this case the story of the execution of Socrates as told by Plato in his Phaedo.
In this story, Socrates has been convicted of corrupting the youth of Athens and introducing strange. The Death of Socrates (French: La Mort de Socrate) is an oil on canvas painted by French painter Jacques-Louis David in The painting focuses on a classical subject like many of his works from that decade, in this case the story of the execution of Socrates as told by Plato in his Phaedo.
In this story, Socrates has been convicted . David summed up all of Socrates’ beliefs by painting physical emotions on Socrates - Jacques-Louis David Essay introduction. What is visually striking about The Death of Socrates—what is visually at its center—is the dynamic interaction of Socrates’ body with the prison guard’s body.
15 Things You Should Know About Jacques-Louis David's 'Death of Socrates' BY Kristy Puchko. October 5, Wikimedia // Public Domain. In his video essay "The Death of Socrates.