Classicism paintings usually incorporated a high level of classical antiquity, which served as the standards of colors and many different aspects that artists seek out to emulate. Much of Classicism is incredibly formal and restrained, meaning that the realism of the portrait is kept intact, and no type of abstract art has been placed into the portrait as a whole. Many different ideal forms are used as classical subjects for Classicism paintings, in order to depict an image of beauty and grace through the paintings, and leave the viewer with a sense of perfection through any nudity that is utilized in the paintings.
Classicism began through a variety of different post-medieval European traditions that led to the style of art in which the male and female form are captured in an ideal way. None of the atrocities or other types of negative connotations of the time were ever placed into the classical art of that time. Instead, many types of flowing gowns, vivid colors and other beautiful scenes were painted in order to convey a sense of beauty and peace into the atmosphere that the painting was placed in. Of course, the nudity is not meant to be graphic in the painting; rather, any nudity in Classicism was meant to express the purity of a nude form as opposed to hiding one’s body away from everyone.
Classical art was a large influence on many of the other art forms that followed this style of painting, such as Neoclassical art. Many of the aesthetic forms that were used in the classical style of art were traditional in nature, rather than individualistic or unique in order to encompass the overall feeling of the time period and appeal to the greater masses rather than a small selection of people. Classicism is based around clarity, order, balance, unity, symmetry and dignity.
The Renaissance period in Italy saw that beginnings of the revival of Classicism, as the Neoclassical movement began due to the uncovering of ancient ruins at both Herculaneum and Pompeii. Many of the artists that used the classical form of paintings are still popular today, such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Correggio and Mantegna. Along with these names came a variety of different artists that depicted beautiful pieces of work that live on for centuries to come. Classicism was a movement of the time period it began in, but does depict beauty that can still be enjoy today, and far beyond the present.