Posted: October 17th, 2013



Historical Art Periods







Romantic art period

The romantic art period, according to studies, is the period that set out to change theory and practices of art and the way people perceive the world as a whole. Generally, art is known to be the study of objects of art as per their development historically and stylistic contexts such as design, format, style and genre (Preziosi, 2009). Romanticism as an earlier historical art period involved painting, sculpture and architecture inclusive of furniture, ceramics among others. The social condition that contributed to the advent of the style of this historical art period was religion. The majority of the individuals in romanticism art periods relied mostly on their biblical paintings where they could paint biblical scenes and some portraits of saints.

Studies show that there were assumptions that only religious portraits were significant for reproduction. This period of art had its unique characteristics especially in its art style (Arnold, 2004). For instance, they had a primitive way of painting, which had little respect to correct anatomical form, geometric shape or atmospheric conditions. During this early historical period, majority of artists developed their paintings sculpture and other objects mainly to fulfill specific purpose. The romantic historical period used regional style to elaborate variations in style linked to geography. For instance, this was achieved by indicating the date, provenance, and place of origin of an art object to determine the character of the piece of art. Romanticism also was symbolic in that in its view; humans were the symbols of aesthetic correlatives of nature’s emblematic language.

Another style used in this period includes personal style, which differentiated the manner of individual artists, or architects in order to explain stylistic discrepancies among monuments’ of the same time and place. Personal style creates a big difference between two artists even when both artists chose a similar subject, the outcome automatically varies largely. Therefore, the major social conditions that led to the advent of these styles in the earlier historical art periods includes religious issues, historical , genre or the day to day lives of the people among others. For instance, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse demonstrated a fateful day at the end of time especially revealing religious issues where biblically the last book of the bible shows death famine war that will destroy humanity.

Four horsemen of the Apocalypse

Neoclassic art period

The neoclassic art period aimed at representing the political events and the seriousness of the time. Therefore, it focused its attention on changing the things of the previous period. Its designs demonstrated classical themes and subject matters particular in archaeological organization. Characteristics of the style of the neoclassic art period seem to be focused on the space and volume as well as the issues of scale and function, which act as a distinguishing factor. During this period, expression style is applied in painting in order to express a personal interpretation of a scene or object instead of revealing its real life features (Ross, 1994). Such a period is characterized by the energetic use of brush in art works, impacted paint intense color and bold lines.

The social conditions that led to such an advent style involve the need to communicate an idea to the audience concerning a particular issue. In this period, the concept of communication is very significant than the artwork itself. It is assumed that artists in this period had the aim of bringing out the authenticity of the new wave of civic structures such as museums, railways and other significant public utilities.

, David‘s Oath of the Horatii (1784–85) is neoclassical in both subject and treatment

Discussion on art from each period and comparison


The two art works relate to each other in that they all portrayed beauty and they shared some techniques that were related to each other. For instance, neoclassicism tried to borrow from romanticism period some painting techniques that could be infused in the piece of work hence bringing out the originality in the work. In addition, a good number of neoclassical paintings demonstrates romantic tendencies and vice verse (Smith, 2009). Neoclassicism emphasized order and simplicity in its artwork. For instance, this art period was inspired through the emphasis on marital motivation as was portrayed in the Greek Latin epics. On the other hand, romanticism emphasized ideas of enduring legacies and its main theme focused on nationalism and identity of human being on earth. For instance, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse during the romantic art period demonstrated a fateful day at the end of time especially revealing emotional issues concerning what will happen during the last days on earth (Gottman, 2007). There will be war, famine and other destructive events that will destroy humanity. On the other hand, David‘s Oath of the Horatii (1784–85) is neoclassical artwork that shows an expression of cultures that are confident of their own tradition and feel the need to restore back something that has gone wrong (David, 2007).

The relationship between romantic and neoclassic art periods

Similarities and differences of the art periods

According to Bietoletti (2009), both the historical art period’s value aesthetic and taste because culture is solely taste therefore, it becomes hard to reduce art into any one set of precepts. This implies that artwork should be viewed in the context of time and circumstances be it in the past or the present. However, during the romantic historical art period, the artist emphasized more on the concepts of emotion, lyric poetry and the self. More attention was based on the emotions because it was viewed as a supplement to purely logical reason. Romanticism focused even more on the systematic contrast with the cultures of Versailles neoclassicism (Bietoletti, 2009). However, neoclassicism had the idea that the overall characteristics of human action are the major subject matter rather than the peculiar manifestations of individuals on human creatures. In the romantic period, artists used to carry out their artwork such as painting, sculpture among other works without clearly knowing the person who will buy their piece of work once they are through. Most of these works are now found in museums. However, this was not the case in the neoclassic art period. Here, people made orders for a specific painting, guiding artists in their work.

During the romantic art period, the most success of art was illustrated as a high level of potential or fluency within a certain place. Nevertheless, with the later historical art period, the artists rarely created the works they conceived nor did they perform their works in ways that made sense. In the early historical art period, a good number of the paintings demonstrated single figures linked together with the dimensional framework of the canvas. Here the artist could apply a thin layer of paint within the translucent and semi-translucent layers. Strong colors were also used especially in restricted areas of the composition.

On the other hand, in the neoclassic art period, the artist had acquired some skills of every facet of painting technique. For instance, artists learned to apply paint with the utmost economy. This period saw the usage of brushwork in calligraphic terms, which were never used during the earlier periods (Bietoletti, 2009). In general, the idealistic search for reality paved way in the later historical art periods. This is because relativity became acceptable as an unavoidable truth where cultures of the society and history are viewed as transforming forms, which could be accepted and removed from only one with irony. The neoclassic art period, emphasized on the unification of different cultures through art. This meant that aspects of different cultures could be mixed through art to promote unity.

The purpose for continuing the tradition of the earlier historical art period

The tradition of the romantic art period emphasized beauty, which is directly linked to usage. Therefore, there is need to continue using the tradition of earlier periods because it emphasized beauty and perfection. Art should be used as a way of transforming every area of human beings, unlike modern day art, which does not emphasize much on perfection since artists just do work for the sake of it. Traditional art periods such as the romantic period should be used even today because they encourage interpretation of things by artists through their own emotions both socially and politically. This is because such actions are required in the current world in order to respond strongly to the oppression and injustice in the world.

How the later work relates to the earlier work

The later work relate to earlier art work in that there is an external component that cannot be considered as they used be which cannot be unaffected by the current knowledge and power. The later work relates to the earlier work because it aims at portraying or communicating particular messages to their audiences with immediacy or with depth just as it was in the earlier art period. Generally, this art period shows the means by which people tend to express their feelings, thoughts and observations of particular issues in the society. Therefore, all these historical art periods had the same intention of facilitating the thoughts of an individual thus had some similar relation.

Historical influence on the art world

Through modern art analysis, a good number of materials applied by the earlier artists can be recognized with certainty. The romantic art periods influenced the art world because it helps in developing a new relationship with the past hence satisfying an irreplaceable role in civilization through the neoclassic art and art world in general. This implies that the current artist tend to use the past ideas of art work in their present work thus leading to virtual interaction with the work of art of all generations or ages. Therefore, the earlier work acts as a door opener to new and advanced techniques in the world of art currently and it may continue influencing even the future works.






















Arnold, D. (2004).Art history: a very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bietoletti, S. (2009). Neoclassicism & Romanticism. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.

Gottman, J. (2007). Four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Retrieved from: http://www.theartofloveandintimacy.com/2007/03/four-horseman-of-apocalypse-john.html.

David, J. (2007). Neo-Classicism and French revolution: Jacques-Louis David the oath of the Horatii. Retrieved From: http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/his/CoreArt/art/neocl_dav_oath.html.

Preziosi, D. (2009).The art of art history: a critical anthology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Expert paper writers are just a few clicks away

Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.

Calculate the price of your order

You will get a personal manager and a discount.
We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price: