Student Question

Was Neo-Classical period truly inspired by Greek and Roman periods, or unique to the 18th and early 19th Century?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The answer to this first question is both yes and no. By that I mean, this isn't an either/or question. The artists of the Neo-Classical period were in fact inspired by the Greeks and Romans…as they understood them, filtered through their own eyes. Some elements of this art show direct and clear influences from the Classical period. The emphasis on clean lines in representations of human anatomy, and, more obviously, the use of stylized columns, show direct inspiration.

However, the uniqueness of these works comes from the incorporation of NEO-classical values, and, to be frank, misunderstandings of the period. An easy example here would be the relative rigidity of design and relative lack of emotion in Neo-Classical work; this shows a misreading of classical works.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial