Artistic Movements of the 18th, 19th, and 20th Ceenturies

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Discuss the artistic movements of the eighteenth, nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. How does one lead to another and what values conflict and produce the change.

The eighteenth, nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries were characterized by four major artistic movements. They were Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, and Modernism. More often than not, these movements represented clear break with old and transition to new social, political, and cultural ideologies. Through music, literature, and art champions of these movements reflected on most pressing concerns of their time and seeking for a ways to better the world plague by revolutions and wars.

Neoclassicism was the most prevalent artistic movement of the second half of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. Founded on aesthetic attitudes based on the art, literature and culture of ancient Greece and Rome, it emphasized form, proportion, restrained emotion and simplicity. In a number of ways, the rise of Neoclassicism can be attributed to Enlightenment movement. The expansion, evolution, and redefinition of the European standard classical education, the rise in commissioned art and architecture and the refinement of art scholarship, and the general reaction to the exorbitant styles of Baroque and Rococo revived interest in antiquity and necessitated a return to principles of classicism.

In part a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalisation of nature, Romanticism came to replace Classicism in late 18th century. Rejecting glorification of reason and science, Romantic artists focused instead on emotions, intuition and mystical feelings. Through their works, they also strived to create a sense of a shared collective heritage and common cultural past as the basis of a nation. These sentiments are best demonstrated by one of the most important French Romantic painters Delacroix in his...
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