The French Revolution & Art

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Thesis: The French Revolution transformed not only the French society, but also had a huge influence and marked impact on what the purposes of the arts and their expression were now, making profound changes in what they would supposed to be used for, in the form of the Neoclassic works of art that made their appearance prior to the French Revolution, in which very special emphasis is given to the patriotic, the nationalist feeling, together with a strong sense of self-sacrifice that should be present in every person’s heart.
The French Revolution, indeed, changed the structure of economics and social sphere of the old regime, and also the ideology of that time. In the years that followed the Revolution, the always increasing senses of both freedom and individuality were evident, not only in French society, but also in art. As stated by Dowd, “leaders of the French Revolution consciously employed all forms of art to mobilize public sentiment in favor of the New France and French nationalism.” In between all the artistic areas, the art of painting had a special emphasis. After the Revolution, the French art academies and also schools were now less hierarchical and there was, now, more freedom of engaging into new themes, not being the apprentices so tied up to their masters footsteps, not being so forced to follow them.
Additionally, the styles changed; from Rococo, which was meant to represent the aristocratic power and the “style that (…) and ignored the lower classes” (Cullen), to Neoclassicism, which had a special emphasis on the Roman civilization’s virtues, and also to Romanticism, which performs a celebration of the individual and of freedom. Obviously, also the subject matter that inspired the paintings has changed as wel...

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...otivation for bravery and fight for what is right, just and moral.

Works Cited

Art In European History. “Neo-Classicism and French Revolution – Jacques-Louis David”. Boston College. Web. 5th May 2013.
Barnett, Peter. “The French Revolution in Art”. ArtId, January 7th 2009. Web. 5th May 2013.
Cullen, Alison. “From the Trivial to the True: The French Revolution and Painting”. Kirsch Computing ECFS. Web. 5th May 2013.
Dowd, David L.. “Art as National Propaganda in the French Revolution”. Public Opinion Quarterly, 1951. Web. 5th May 2013.
O’Donnell, Sr., Joseph J.. “Art and the French Revolution”. The Eerie Digest, May 2013. Web. 5th May 2013.
Oxford Art Online. “Neo-classicism & The French Revolution”. Oxford University Press. Web. 5th May 2013.
Western Civilization II Guides. “Art Inspired by The French Revolution”. Wordpress, 2007. Web. 5th May 2013.
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