Periods of Art in the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries


Artists in the 17th century included people like Claude Lorrain or Claude Gellée born in the village of Champagne in Lorraine, was a French painter who can be considered the greatest landscapist of the 17th century. He perfected the French ideal of the “Classical” landscape and profoundly influenced painters for the next two centuries.


Peter Paul Rubens is another great example of classical painting in the 17th century. He was a painter using unique ideals of thematic and formal unity. The heroic nude figures, theatrical lighting effects, potent diagonal composition, and passionate emotions show his debt to his art, but the prosperous colors for textures reflect his native Flemish traditions.


The 18th century was very less classical romanticism and more about erotica and mythological artworks.  Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux created his subjects’ naturalistic still lifes and quiet domestic scenes recalling Dutch tradition. His work has a classic rococo style with styles around erotic mythology. His piece Carpeaux “THE DANCE” is a good example of the 18th-century style as the sculpture was spontaneous, vivid, experimental, and wasn’t the classical idea of a perfect body which normally the artwork is based around; the perfect ideal body.


The 19th century was filled with neoclassicism which is a Western cultural movement that draws inspiration from the art and culture of classical and modern antiquity. Francis Goya’s “FAMILY OF CHARLES IV” painting is an example of neoclassicism in action and is meant to connect viewers with the family. Yet the figures were painted formal and stiff.


The connection came from the representation of conflicted emotions, aspirations, and responsibilities that reflect in Goya’s painting. Some say the piece can be viewed as refreshingly modern as it was in the early 19th century and Goya’s newer art style was meant to reflect emotions within the viewer.

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