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Neoclassicism to Romanticism

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Neoclassicism to Romanticism: Works on Paper in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Europe

Summer - Fall 2015

bartolozzi young

Art created in Europe during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries was historical and modern, conservative and progressive, traditional and new. This student-curated exhibition focuses on works on paper beginning in the mid-1700s when new ideas emerged from the extensive political, intellectual, economic, and social changes that were unfolding across the continent.  Intellectually progressive, enlightened ideas developed in conjunction with the rebellion of the underprivileged and the assertion of a new middle class, and artists translated many of these ideas into satirical narratives and scenes of sharp social commentary made in the print media, which was less expensive than painting and therefore more accessible to a broader audience.  Some of these ideas were united under the stylistic and ideological banner of Neoclassicism, which was a self-conscious study of antiquity as a way to address social concerns.  Classicism was championed by many artists who converged in Rome mid-century to create delicately naturalistic figure studies and landscapes for a new set of patrons, tourists in Rome.  Artists and scholars eventually concluded that deep human sentiments are not always rational, and so new questions about human nature inspired the next generation of artists called Romanticists.  Romanticism is an intellectual shift found in art and literature that sought a fuller range of human emotion, expression, and experience outside the realm of classicism to encompass time periods and regions outside the classical world, including those deemed exotic by European standards.  Romanticism was steeped in questions as scholars could see that no single answer, no one solution, existed for how people could shape their individual and communal destiny. 

View the gallery guide here.


Related Program:

Gallery Talk
Tue June 23, 12:30 pm

Edwin A. and Fay Davis Deupree Gallery
Presented by Hannah Johnson, Tatyana Gubareva, and Lauren Briscoe, student curators
The OU School of Art and Art History student curators will lead a walking tour discussing selected works from Neoclassicism to Romanticism: Works on Paper in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Europe.


Francesco Bartolozzi (Italy, 1727-1815)
Young Man’s Head, 1807
Purchase, 1981