Art History of Europe: Neoclassical Brides

For my muses

La Chrysanthème
The Collector
3 min readAug 14, 2022

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Jacques-Louis David, Studies of Classical Women with Eros. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

Art history is divine. A path of Eden made to be walked by mortals and immortals. An endless wall of succession, memories of how many forms beauty can take. I desired to go back and gaze at all the beautiful déesses of Europe, but specifically in the neoclassical era. To gaze and breath life into them with yet another written passage. Aphrodite and Ariadne, they sit next to muses like you and me, as we paint their epoch with modern words. For art and for the purity in lines that follow Angelica Kauffmann, I begin.

The neoclassical period is a period of art that belongs to painters, fashion architects, and all those that get roused. It started in Rome´s 1760s and soon found its way to the rest of Europe. With Jacques-Louis David as the father of neoclassicism, this art style spread along France.

Neoclassicism is characterized by utter beauty. Simplicity and enamore with ancient greek art. The colors are meant to tone the divinity in the painting, not ogre violence. In the silence, in the pause of a scene, artists such as Marie-Guillemine Benoist, can create something made of an ancient godhead. Are you thinking of Venus dress’ ends? So am I. Women are the end and beginning of neoclassicism. The brides of art as I like to think of them.

Through students, the Grand Tour, and the painters’ passion, neoclassicism found its home in Europe. The Grand Tour is like it sounds, a tour to cities such as Pompei and Tivoli, where tourists would visit and buy art pieces for their homes. I would purchase any of the next paintings for my walls.

Neoclassical Bride Muses

In her personal atelier, a beautiful woman muses before she paints. In contrast with all the colors in the art-filled room, she is dressed in white. Truly, resembles my vision of a bride. Neoclassicism is found in all the edges of the furniture, including her gorgeous dress.
Louis-Léopold Boilly,A Painter’s Studio. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

In her personal atelier, a beautiful woman muses before she paints. In contrast with all the colors in the art-filled room, she is dressed in white. Truly, resembles my vision of a bride. Neoclassicism is found in all the edges of the furniture, including her gorgeous dress.

Pierre Paul Prud’hon, Venus. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

Gaze at her. Venus was always art’s favorite inspiration. Venus, in all her glory. Hugged my ordered lines and a jaw that brings her closer to humanity.

Pierre Paul Prud’hon, Phrosine and Melidore. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

Another masterpiece of fantasy from Pierre. The young woman is Phrosine, a name of Greek origin. She has swum the entire sea at night to meet with her lover once again. Naked and exhausted, she falls into his loving arms.

Jacques-Louis David, A Distraught Woman with Her Head Thrown Back. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

This painting was created by the father of neoclassicism himself. According to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, this woman´s portrait goes back to 1775. He appeared to have been influenced by the limitless emotional temperament women are capable of having. Goddesses, indeed.

Final Notes

Here, in the drop of these colors and shapes, women are idolized. In neoclassicism, people were looking for order. Artistic times were preparing for a change even as they were illumed by the past. My heart is full as I glimpse at all these paintings. One of the best subjects for an art student to grasp and dedicate to understanding. How mere lines, colors, and a vision managed to catch the magnitude of the beauty of women. Neoclassicism was a gift to us. A road inspiring, that went on to inspire. Look at the pictures, perhaps every thread of your hair is somewhere there painted and you were an ancestor of Psyche. Muses, continue.

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La Chrysanthème
The Collector

Mon dieu. She is a sensitive writer that listens to classical music and sends angry letters.