Post a sentence describing each element as expressed in the Classical art example topic. Post a sentence describing each element as expressed in the Romantic art example topic. Please...

  1. Post a sentence describing each element as expressed in the Classical art example topic.
  2. Post a sentence describing each element as expressed in the Romantic art example topic.

Please describe in ONE sentence ONLY for questions 1 and 2 the elements: line, texture, color, form, and space.

The Classical and Romantic Art example is The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries David, Jacques-Louis.

PLEASE PLEASE complete by NOON on 3/31/2015 or midnight tonight would be fantastic!  Thank you so much and PLEASE describe in one sentence.

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Having specialized in historical paintings, Jacques-Louis David, who drew upon inspiration from the classical art of Greece, was a leading artist of the Neoclassical style in which motive force is rational. In his paintings, he combines a radical and exciting nature with simplicity of composition. This idealistic style that produces emotive force serves to widen the scope of his paintings. Though his paintings set during the French Revolution continue the emotive scope of Romanticism, plunging into politics, feelings, and issues of the day, David's work yet continues the high seriousness of Neoclassicism while widening its scope and intensifying it.

His portrait of Napoleon exhibits the mannered style and seriousness of Neoclassicism, with the central figure balanced with the sides of the desk. The painting widens its scope with the dynamic political figure of Bonaparte and the Romantic drama of the setting of 4:13 a.m., the candles low from burning all night as the drafts of his legal code rest upon the table.

  • LINE 

Neoclassical: This painting balances the perpendicular with the horizontal; the predominant figure of Napoleon is in the foreground and is perpendicular to the desk behind him that has several horizontal lines which create symmetry.

Romantic: The political figure of Napoleon and the intimacy implied in the portrait of him with the crumpled lines of his sagging stockings from a long night of work in the privacy of his personal office suggest his fatigue.


Neoclassical: The smooth textures of Napoleon's uniform reflect the light and place him as the dominant and central figure of the painting that displays no brush strokes.

Romantic: In this painting of Napoleon in his private studies in the pre-dawn, there are fabrics and textures that are lush, vivid colors, and enamel-like surfaces of the painting create an effect that is convincing and vivid.


Neoclassical: Set in shadow, the desk is dark with some reddishness to the wood, while the white and navy blue and red cuffs of Napoleon's uniform with its golden epaulets are vivid, creating classical drama of sober colors.

Romantic: Decorative golden bees are sewn into Napoleon's velvet chair, fifth-century emblems associated with the first French rulers; along with the realistic colors and items on the desk there is a creation of masterful work of political propaganda.

  • FORM

Neoclassical: The well-delineated figure of Napoleon in his soldier's uniform and hand tucked into his waistcoat as symbolic of control is in Neoclassical form as the figure has clarity of form and is centered in the picture, perpendicular to the desk in the shadow.

Romantic: This figure is also emotive of the leader who is weary as his stockings bag and his pants are wrinkled; the carvings on the desk are emotive of a time past.


Neoclassical: There is in this painting a noble simplicity and serene grandeur to the positive space. What negative space there is resides in shadow in order to place emphasis upon the noble figure of Napoleon.

Romantic: Space extends in the the deeper distance of the desk and the back of the room where subtle patterns in the desk become noticeable; these contrasting conditions of the figure and the rest of the painting are typical of Romanticism.