Every age marked by its own style in literature, arts, architecture etc. Neoclassicism and rococo are among the most knows styles in visual arts. Let us compare similarities and differences between those two styles in the visual arts of the 18-th century.
Rococo Style and Neoclassical Style
It is important to mention that the two styles are in contrast to each other. Neoclassicism followed rococo; it appeared in 1780-s. Its appearance was a kind of reaction to elaboration and fluffiness of Rococo. Both of them followed the style of Baroque that considered to be one of the most impressive in the arts’ history. Rococo style was raised against formal Baroque. It called to be more light and playful style of arts without large scale design and theatrical effect. To depict it brightly we can compare Baroque with the bottle of Champaign and Rococo would be the foam on it. It has some features of Baroque, for example, complex forms; nevertheless, artists of Rococo were interested in lighter forms. They did not work with serious themes, like religion, moral and politics. They had a deal with the social life of aristocrats personal amusement, lively world around them, pleasure and romance. The style characterized with ornament, asymmetry, curves and soft colors. This art style is known as decorative.
As a reaction on the lightness, elaboration and bourgeois of Rococo neoclassicism appeared at the end of 18-th century. It was focused on simple and proportional forms, balance and harmony. Interest in the classic antiquity grew with the archeological studies of that period. Neoclassic artists made columns and geometrical forms main features of the style. Also they used sharp colors instead of pale rococo colors.
Concluding the studies above, we can see that artists of different ages are always in searching of something new. They try to change the world around them with mean of colors and forms. They reflect mood of people of the certain epoch and make us understand them better.
Cavina, A. & McEwen, A. (2004). Geometries of Silence: Three Approaches to Neoclassical Art. Columbia University Press.
Varriano, J. (1986). Italian Baroque and Rococo Architecture. Oxford University Press.