Neoclassicism in France

  • © ATOUT FRANCE/Hervé Le Gac

Neoclassicism in France paris fr



Neoclassicism emerged between 1760 and 1820, a very distinctive period which drew on Antiquity.

Europe adopted the same style in unison, turning to the art of classical antiquity and Greek drama. Perrault's colonnade at the Louvre, became a model of its kind as did the peristyled villas of the Venetian Palladio who also inspired colonnaded houses in England.

Among French painters, H. Robert, L. David, A.J.Gros and P.P. Prud'hon, indeed even the fantastic pictures of the Swiss painter, J.H. Füssli, and the Spaniard F. Goya, focused on scenes of war or genre painting.

The classical era triumphed in France, with the adoption of the Doric column by the architect F. Ledoux in 1775, the plainest example of the architectural orders of Greek temples. It can be seen in Paris at the Panthéon by G. Soufflot (1764), the Petit Trianon at Versailles by R.Mique (1783), the grand theatre in Bordeaux by V. Louis (1773), Marie-Antoinette's dairy at Rambouillet by Thévenin (1785) and in Marie-Antoinette's private apartments at Fontainebleau. Classical theatres were all the rage, as at the Odéon and the Palais-Royal. The royal saltworks at Arc-et-Senans (1774) by N. Ledoux and the arch of the Carrousel du Louvre by Percier and Fontaine (1806) are still some of the finest examples of the architecture of this period.



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