Classical Architecture in Art

Classical Architecture in Art
Artists from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and beyond would be influenced by and incorporated Greco-Roman architecture in their work. I will discuss.

The Egyptians seemed more interested in the afterlife. The Greeks portrayed battles in their art. The Romans painted frescos in Pompeii that have been categorized in four (4) styles.

The "second style" or "architectural style" was from 80 BC-14 AD where columns and colonnades can be seen in imaginary landscapes.

In the "third style" or "pseudo-Egyptian" there is a loss of depth and influence of the earliest civilization.

Painted in Late Gothic tradition is Early Renaissance artist Paolo Uccello's "Scene Temple, Mary" fresco from 1440.

From the same period is Piero della Francesca's "Brera Madonna" aka "Brera Altarpiece" (1472) where the background is the apse of a church, in classical Renaissance style.

An artist not needing an introduction is Leonardo da Vinci. His magnificent "Annunciation" (1472) is a natural outdoor setting with a garden in front of a Renaissance palace.

Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna chose Saint Sebastian as the subject for three (3) paintings. Classical ruins were typical and the saint in front of a column is found in the earliest version (1456-1459) from the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna and the Louvre version from 1480.

Dutch artist Herman van Swanevelt painted "Arch of Constantine, Rome" (1644-1646) after the largest Roman triumphal arch, built in 312 AD.

Inspired by Roman antiquity, French Baroque artist Claude Lorrain painted "Landscape with Aeneas at Delos" (1672) where he placed a domed temple in the background, based on the Pantheon in Rome, built in 27 BCE-14 CE. It has the world's largest dome made of unreinforced concrete.

From the Venetian school, Italian artist Canaletto painted "The Entrance to Grand Canal" (1730) where he incorporated the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute into the landscape.

A fine example of Neoclassical painting is Jacques Louis David's "Oath of Horatii" (1784) with its arches and the figures in the foreground like Roman relief sculpture.

English-born American artist Thomas Cole, from the Hudson River School, painted "The Course of Empire" series of five (5) paintings from 1835-1836. The central theme is cycles.

"The Course of Empire" 3: "Consummation of Europe" appears to be at the height of the Roman Empire.

"The Course of Empire" 4: "Destruction" illustrates temples and palaces burned.

"The Course of Empire" 5: "Desolation" occurs decades later. A time without humans.

French artist Luc Olivier Merson painted "Rest on the Flight into Egypt" (1879) where the Virgin Mary and infant Jesus sleep in the arms of an Egyptian sphinx.

Belgian Surrealist artist Paul Delvaux painted "The Greeting" aka "La Salut" (1938) where a couple is situated in an empty town with classical buildings.

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