The term “neoclassicism” applies to Western movements characterized by distinctive architecture, visual and decorative arts, poetry, and literature. It was established in the mid-eighteenth century and was influenced by ancient Rome’s classical artistic culture. It is regarded as the forerunner of the Age of Enlightenment. The fine arts, architecture, and sculpture are the most prominent features of neoclassicism. Neoclassicism was critical to the growth of modern society. The aesthetics trends had an effect on almost every area of visual culture. Neoclassical architectures are still common in the twenty-first century. The first wave of neoclassicism gained momentum in England and France through French art students. Progressive cycles in Sweden adopted the movement. The second wave which was more severe occurred during the Napoleonic Empire (Sapsed, Jonathan, and Feichin 127-129).
The classical music of the current century borrows a lot from the neo-classical movement. Neoclassicism can be exemplified in decorative arts found in empire furniture in Berlin, London, New York and Austria. Neoclassical fashion played a key role in transforming the code of dressing, particularly for women. Neoclassicism is present in American architecture as evident in large public projects such as the National Gallery of Art, Lincoln Memorial, and Roosevelt memorial which hosts the American Museum of Natural history. In the literary world, Neoclassicism advocated for restraint, reactionary political problem, and religion. Liberty and democracy that have emerged to be dominant can trace their roots to Neoclassicism since it played a key role in rejecting the old word order such as extreme romanticism. Some postmodern architectures are based on the ideologies and concepts of neoclassicism. The buildings include the Antigone District and the National Theater of Catalonia in Barcelona. The postmodern architecture of the 21st century still has neoclassic features such as tympanum, historical elements, and columns. Neoclassical styles have been used to build contemporary public buildings in the United States such as Schermerhorn Symphony Center (Sapsed, Jonathan, and Feichin 130-133).
Sapsed, Jonathan, and Feichin Ted Tschang. “Art is long, innovation is short: Lessons from the
Renaissance and the digital age.” Technological Forecasting and Social Change 83 (2014): 127-141.