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The Historical Context of Neoclassicism

The Historical Context of Neoclassicism

This lesson will present an overview of the historical context of Neoclassicism.
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Notes on "The Historical Context of Neoclassicism"

Key Terms


‘Neo’ meaning new, a movement or style occurring during the mid 18th century characterized by a
revival of classical styles.

Age of Elightenment

A European intellectual and cultural movement in the 17th and 18th centuries whose mission was to reform society by reason and knowledge, using scientific methods.

Age of Reason

A publication written by Thomas Paine, a British/American revolutionary, that challenged institutionalized religion.


A group of 18th century French intellectuals ( men and women) united by their belief in human
reason and logic.


A belief that knowledge comes through sensed experience.


Also called “late Baroque,’ an artistic movement and style seen across all the arts; characterized by playful witty themes and creamy-pastel colors, ornate asymmetrical designs, curves and
gold, sensuality,and overindulgence.


Works Cited

George Washington; Public Domain: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hiram_Powers_-_Marble_bust_of_George_Washington,_c._1844,_Cincinnati_Art_Museum.jpgDeath of Socrates; Public Domain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:David_-_The_Death_of_Socrates.jpgA Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrey; Public Domain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wright_of_Derby,_The_Orrery.jpgPaine, Thomas. The Age of Reason. Eighteenth Century Collections Online; Public Domain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PaineAgeReason.png