In the mid-eighteenth century, the unearthing of the ruins at Pompeii kindled a renewed interest in classical (ancient Greek and Roman) culture. Occurring in the middle of a period of intellectual growth known as the Enlightenment, the attributes of classical art were equated with the reason that Enlightenment thinkers emphasized.
Subject matter in Neoclassical art is often based in ancient Greece or Rome. Jacques Louis David's painting The Oath of the Horatii (1784) takes place when Rome was a fledgling kingdom at war with its neighboring kingdom Alba. The three Horatii (sons of Horace) take an oath on their swords, held by their father, that they will defend Rome to the death. Meanwhile, their younger sister Camilla (in white), the eldest brother's wife Sabina (in blue), the nursemaid, and the younger children huddle mourn the bloodshed that is to follow. Notice how the ...
This 380-word solution addresses the key aspects of Neoclassicism, using the visual examples (provided in the attached PDF). All links are valid as of June 2018.