Neoclassicism and Picturesque

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 4 November 2016

Neoclassicism and Picturesque

In the mid-18th century, there was a radical and fundamental transition of architectural style from the decorative Baroque to the simple Neoclassicism. The reasons behind are worth investigating for us to understand the later development and trend of architecture.

One key is the change in mindset of the scholars at that time. They thought that all historical styles are natural and desirable and claimed for a change in the unpleasant reality of Rococo and rebelled the artificiality of the industrial revolution.

This transformation of the aesthetic sense formed the background for the incorporation of classical Roman and Greek style into the interior of the buildings. Owing to the adjustment of knowledge instilled into the tertiary education, students of the neoclassical school viewed excessive decorative ornaments as a degeneracy of the art and unnecessary. Thus, this view influenced the architects to revive the classical themes, which emphasize the simplicity of form. Therefore, the neoclassic interior intentionally set out to lack the excessive ornaments in the interior and it is considered as a reaction in taste against the complex Rococo style.

It is vitally important to explore the relationship between the interior and exterior of mid-18th century architecture. Picturesque is the main style that represents the exterior, which focuses on the complementary relationship between buildings and the nature, rather than viewing the building as an isolated object.

We can imagine that the Neoclassical building fuse with the picturesque environment and forms gorgeous scenery. In fact, Neoclassicism is one aspect of the wider picturesque. They convey a huge connection in terms of their origin and style.

In the early 18th century, the academic classicism observed precise rules of proportion, which were believed necessary to create perfection. However, it was later discovered that ancient Greek and Roman architecture had period style variations, causing a liberating effect on subsequent architectural design.

Robert Adam, one of the architects participating in the Palladian movement in Britain, with a multitude of classical themes and motifs in his head, created an eclectic style in the English landscape garden, proving that both styles are mutually influenced.

In conclusion, the Neoclassicism and picturesque is indispensible in achieving masterpieces in the 18th century architecture. The two styles are considered as the core ideology of that period which successfully incorporated into a visually harmonizing corporeal.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 4 November 2016

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