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Rococo, Neoclassicism and Romanticism - Essay Example

This essay "Rococo, Neoclassicism and Romanticism" focuses on three different schools of painting: Rococo, Neoclassicism (of the late 1700s), and Romanticism. Neoclassicism as the name implies was an attempt to recapture classical styles, or at least what was perceived to be classical styles, and focused on classical subjects such as Greek and Roman architecture and mythology. Italian Giovanni Paolo Pannini (1691-1765) painted in this style. His “Roma Antica” epitomizes this school of painting. It features a cluster of Pannini's contemporaries in a classical style building that is full of Graeco-Roman statues. The walls are decorated with pictures and panels featuring the most famous classical ruins, such as the Colosseum. Romanticism focused on nature in terms of its subjects and portrayed nature as wild, energetic and, even, violent. Its most famous practitioner was the German, Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840). “Wanderer above the Sea of Fog” (1818) captures this style. The individual is small before the sea of fog and his face is hidden. He is insignificant in the face of the wild, violence and mystery of nature. The subjects of the three styles provide grounds for comparison. Rococo focuses on people, specifically wealthy aristocrats; Neoclassicism portrays ancient culture; and, Romanticism depicts nature and its fury. In some senses the sensuality of Rococo and the focus on nature in Romanticism are similar in their focus on the physical and the senses which contrasts.

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The following brief discussion of painting styles will focus on three different schools of painting: Rococo, Neoclassicism (of the late 1700s), and Romanticism. Each school will be defined and an example identified, then the three will be compared and contrasted.

Rococo, Neoclassicism and Romanticism
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