Classicism was an epoch in art history that lasted from around the middle of the 18th to the middle of the 19th century. The artists of Classicism rejected the Baroque and developed a simplified but, at the same time, a very elegant stylistic idiom in imitation of the art of antiquity. The sculptors of Classicism found their model in the sculptures of the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Found: 15


The Sculpture of Classicism: A Homage to Antiquity

Antiquity was regarded as the great inspiration for Classicism. The art of this epoch, which lasted from around 1760 to 1840, was decisively influenced by the creative traditions of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Artists from the mid-18th century onwards drew inspiration from the art of antiquity for their paintings, sculptures, and architecture. Following the example of the ancient masters, the classicist artists designed the forms of their works to be simple and discreet. Classicism thus represented a countermovement to the Baroque, with its overloaded stylistic idiom and pompous ornamentation. This stylistic change had its origins in archaeological finds in Italy and Greece, as a result of which the art of antiquity was reassessed. The German archaeologist, antiquarian and librarian Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768) played a special role in this process. The picture he drew of the art of Greek and Roman antiquity in his writings had a decisive influence on the stylistic changes in the visual arts of the classicist epoch. Famous classicist sculptors include Antonio Canova (1757-1822), Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844), Johann Gottfried Schadow (1764-1850) and Christian Daniel Rauch (1777-1857). Here at ars mundi, you can buy various high-quality replicas from the field of Classicism sculpture.

Art Serving Beauty: The Classicism Characteristics

For the spiritual father of Classicism Johann Joachim Winckelmann, the highest task of art was to represent beauty. The only way to achieve this was through restrained design or, as he put it, "noble simplicity and quiet grandeur". In this way, he contradicted the contemporary aesthetics of the Rococo and Baroque epochs in the first half of the 18th century. During these epochs, visual artists still worked with many ostentatious decorations and playful ornaments in accordance with the wishes of the royal houses and the clergy. In contrast, the classicist artists distanced themselves from this pompous style of design. Following the example of antiquity, they used clear lines and simple and calm shapes. The works of the classicist epoch now increasingly featured basic geometric shapes such as triangles, circles, spheres, pyramids, columns, or squares. In terms of motifs, the classicist artists emulated the ideal of ancient sculpture and took up figures from religion and mythology. In addition, the veneration of prominent personalities was once again very popular, and numerous rulers, artists and scientists were immortalised in such monuments. Despite all the reduction of the stylistic idiom, the neoclassical sculpture was nevertheless very virtuosic in terms of artisanship and technique. The sculptures were mainly made of white marble or bronze and, as in antiquity, were often placed on pedestals.

Buy Classicism Sculpture at ars mundi

Here at ars mundi, you will find sculptures from the epoch of classicism. Many of our objects are museum replicas that are cast in fine artificial marble or bonded bronze. The handcrafted replicas faithfully reproduce the originals. The motifs of the sculptures originate from famous artists of Classicism such as Johann Gottfried Schadow, Antonio Canova or Christian Daniel Rauch. The sculptures depict historical personalities such as Frederick II (Schadow) or Immanuel Kant (Rauch), but also famous motifs such as "The Resting Girl" (Schadow) or "Cupid and Psyche" (Canova). When you buy a classicist sculpture from ars mundi, you are buying a high-quality and decorative art object from one of the most important epochs in art history.