Neoclassicism, Romanticism and Realism are styles of painting, literature, music and architecture that were prominent in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The movement from neoclassicism to romanticism and to realism was influenced by political changes and driven by individuals’ desire to capture nature in their own perception in their art work and the artists urge to better one another’s work as implied by Lowis &Pickeral (2009).
Neoclassicism artist were motivated by classical art and ancient Greek culture. The style is associated with academic principles governing art and involves employing reason and intellectual in art work. Romanticism stressed on the expression of emotions and senses. Romanticism expressed emotional personal response to life and nature and employed symbolism, imagination and culture. The paintings were diagonal and included painterly brush. On the other hand, realism focused on preserving nature in art like painting. Realist’s artists were responding to the distortion which they felt led to the loss nature by romantic artists thus concentrated on presenting reality and used majorly observation as explained by Lowis &Pickeral (2009).
The painting of La Grande Odalisque (1814) by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres is an example of romanticism. The art is a nude herem woman (sex slave). Jean expresses elements of romanticism as his unusual elongation of the back of the woman indicates imagination. The painting is an erotic drawing of a nude woman implying expression of emotions for the woman’s natural beauty which is the major element of romanticism. Jean uses symbolism as he discretely paint the woman’s body showing majorly the back and the face suggesting that the woman is welcoming suitors to her bed. Moreover, he expressed the herem culture and tradition by surrounding the woman with fancy footstool, long pipe and a peacock feather fan which are associated with herem culture thus expressing people’s perception of herem women as explicated by Lowis, &Pickeral (2009).
Lowis, K., &Pickeral, T. (2009). 50 paintings you should know. Munich: Prestel.