Classicist painting refers to a style of art inspired by Greco-Roman antiquity and the Italian Renaissance.
Compared to other preceding, simultaneous or subsequent art movements, such as Baroque, Rococo, Romanticism or Impressionism, the ideal of Classicism consists in uniformity and harmony, also in a certain rational sobriety, objectivity and austerity.
As an epochal term, Classicism is generally understood in German to mean painting between about 1750 or 1760 and about 1820.
However, the term "classicism" is not completely unambiguous, since there were always classicist currents, especially in painting, from the 16th century onwards, which either existed simultaneously as a counter-current to other aesthetic ideals - such as Baroque or Tenebrism in particular - or were also temporarily in the foreground.
Classicism / Classicist Painting
Examples of this in the 17th century are the classicist Baroque of the so-called Bolognese School - whose influence reached Rome early on - with protagonists such as Guido Reni, Domenichino, Albani, Poussin or Carlo Maratta. Influenced by painters such as Poussin or the landscape painter Claude Lorrain, this classicist Baroque reached France before 1650, where it was elevated to the status of an ideal under Louis XIV (see → classicisme), not least as a counter-image to the highly animated, exuberant and emotional Baroque of Italian or Flemish influence (Rubens).
For this reason, the epoch from about 1760 to 1820, especially in France (and also in other countries), is not called classicisme, but néo-classicisme, because of the classical art of the 17th century.
Representatives of actual classicism in France are Joseph-Marie Vien, Jacques-Louis David, Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, François Gérard, Antoine-Jean Gros and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres; in Germany Anton Raphael Mengs, Angelika Kauffmann, Jakob Asmus Carstens, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein and Gottlieb Schick; in Italy, Pompeo Batoni, Giuseppe Velasco, Andrea Appiani, Gaspare Landi, Felice Giani, Vincenzo Camuccini and Luigi Sabatelli; in Spain, Francisco Bayeu and Francisco de Goya (in his early work).