NEOCLASSICISM

Neoclassicism was a particularly pure form of classicism that emerged from about 1750.

Following the discovery of the Roman ruins of Pompeii and also the publication in 1764 of a highly influential history of ancient art by German scholar Winckelmann, there was an intense flourishing of classicism in art, architecture and design in the eighteenth century.

In Britain it can be seen in the paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Benjamin West and James Barry and in sculpture in the work of John Flaxman, whose illustrations to Homer’s Odyssey particularly reflect this interest. Neoclassicism was also an important influence on architecture, particularly in Scotland (Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson) but also for example St George’s Hall, Liverpool; Euston Arch (demolished), and the British Museum, in London.

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