Rococo, Neo-Classicism, Romanticism

Units 20, 21, 22

18th Century Art

The eighteenth century in Europe is often called a time of Enlightenment. The ideas of the Enlightenment prepared the way for the rapid "progress" of the following century. In the various branches of the arts, new ideas were developing, interacting with each other, and shaping the culture and artistic heritage of Europe.


An eighteenth century art style which placed emphasis on portraying the carefree life of the aristocracy rather than on grand heroes or pious martyrs. Love and romance were considered to be better subjects for art than historical or religious subjects. The style was characterized by a free, graceful movement; a playful use of line; and delicate colors.


A French art style and movement that originated as a reaction to the Baroque in the mid-eighteenth century, and continued into the middle of the nineteenth century. It sought to revive the ideals of ancient Greek and Roman art. Neoclassic artists used classical forms toexpress their ideas about courage, sacrifice, and love of country.


An art movement and style that flourished in the early nineteenth century. It emphasized the emotions painted in a bold, dramatic manner. Romantic artists rejected the cool reasoning of classicism — the established art of the times — to paint pictures of nature in its untamed state, or other exotic settings filled with dramatic action, often with an emphasis on the past. Classicism was nostalgic too, but Romantics were more emotional, usually melancholic, even melodramatically tragic.

  • Paintings by members of the French Romantic school include those by Théodore Géricault (French, 1791-1824) and Eugène Delacroix (French, 1798-1863), filled with rich color, energetic brushwork, and dramatic and emotive subject matter.
  • In England the Romantic tradition began with Henry Fuseli (Swiss-English, 1741-1825) and William Blake (1757-1827), and culminated with Joseph M. W. Turner (1775-1851) and John Constable (1776-1837).
  • The German landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) produced images of solitary figures placed in lonely settings amidst ruins, cemetaries, frozen, watery, or rocky wastes.
  • And in Spain, Francisco Goya (1746-1828) depicted the horrors of war along with aristocratic portraits.

This Week - Calendar on Blackboard

Important Dates

  • Reading Guide Chapter 28 due Friday, March 21
  • Themes Across Art History: 10 entries due Friday, March 21
  • No quiz this week. Our next quiz will be Wednesday, March 26 on Units 20, 21, 22.
  • There will also be a Cue Card Turn in Friday, March 28

A Short Film...Bendito Machine Episode II "The Spark of Life"

Bendito Machine is an animation show which reflects on the innocence of a small, naive and clumsy species that cannot live without their machines, and which is guided by small, enlightened greedy bastards, who believe they have the answers to everything. The show covers many topics and contains situations recognizable in every corner of the world, displayed in a primitive way without dialogs. The ebb and flow of this clumsy species, which lives adrift in a vast and mysterious universe, might look pretty familiar to you.
Bendito Machine II - The Spark of Life