Classical Era : art and scientific discovery


Unlike most era’s the art of Classical era shifted from Rococo style to NeoClassical style. Rococo style dominated the era for about 10 years from 1775 to 1785.

Jean-Antoine Watteau, Two Studies of the Head and Shoulders of a Little Girl, 1716-17, Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.

Above is a painting done by Jean-Antoine Watteau, he was more known for being a Rococo artist. Watteau was credited for inventing the genre of fetes galantes. I choose this piece because it was different than anything else I’ve seen during this era. It’s almost looks like an unfinished piece of art, like he began the sketch but was never able to finish it.

Sir Isacc Newton was an important figure in the 1700,  he described the three laws of motion and the universal gravitation. Newtons first law of motion states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest and that an object in motion stays in motion, Newton’s second law states that an applied force on an object equals the rate of change of its momentum with time, Newtons third motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. These scientific discoveries are said to have dominated the scientific view of the physical universe.

Jacques-Louis David The Death of Socrates 1787 Metropolitan Museum of Art

As you can see in the painting above The Death of Socrates the figures are all wearing togas and look like they belong in Greece. This painting was made after the discovery of Pompeii. The archaeological discovery of the Pompeii and Herculaneum had a huge impact on the arts of the Classical era.  It is said that after this found is when NeoClassical style really came into play and Rococo style was no longer admired as much. The discovery of Pompeii gave artist a new imagination when it came to there paintings, literature, architecture, and just every day living. Artist painting now involved togas and Greek history and it is said that Pompeii’s buildings helped shape the architectural trend in the Classical era.


One thought on “Classical Era : art and scientific discovery

  1. Very nice information; isn’t it rather odd that painting styles could change so drastically in such a short amount of time? Rococo and NeoClassical sometimes feel so completely opposite of one another that it’s difficult to think both were created within the same era. I had no idea that the final painting you shared had been created as a response to the discovery of Pompeii! What an interesting event to transition artistic styles. Overall, your write-up was very nice and easy to read; thank you very much for sharing.

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