This style, which was called Neoclassical only after the fact, was influenced by several factors. One of these influences was an artistic reaction against the frivolities and excesses of the Rococo period. Another was the mid 18th century discovery in of two ancient Roman cities - Herculaneum and Pompeii. These cities housed a hidden horde of ancient artifacts and art objects, the design of which created immediate interest in things Greek and Roman. Ultimately, artists combined fashion, politics, and a passion for antiquity to produce the Neoclassical style.
Robert Adam | The important British designer Robert Adam defined the Neoclassical style, which is evident in his exquisite works of architecture and furniture.
Claude-Nicolas Ledoux | Brilliant, eccentric, and visionary - these words perhaps best characterize this important Neoclassical architect, as his daring designs often defy description.
Jacques-Louis David | David was one of the most influential - and prolific - Neoclassical artists; his severe, uncompromising style, ability to capture dramatic moments, and incredible talent as a painter have made him an art legend.
Joseph-Marie Vien | Another accomplished Neoclassical painter, Vien took the occasional detour into the lighter side of Neoclassical art, with paintings such as the charming Cupid Seller.
Antonio Canova | Canova's works of sculpture are some of the finest achievements of the Neoclassical style - examples are his masterpiece Cupid and Psyche and the splendid Paulina Borghese as Venus Victrix.
Neoclassical Artists - Decorative Arts
Josiah Wedgwood | This British potter was responsible for the development of ceramics inspired by Neoclassical design, including the successful jasperware line and the famous copy of the Portland Vase.
This beautiful book is a part of the Phaidon Art & Ideas series, and as the title suggests, it covers the topic of Neoclassicism. Author David Irwin has some fascinating chapters, including "The Lure of Italy and Beyond: The Grand Tour", "From Achilles to Wolfe: The Painting of History", and the brilliantly named "Eating your Ice under a Grecian Group: Living with Neoclassicism".