The concept of classicism should be understood in two ways: on the one hand, as a manifestation of the mentality of the people of the Enlightenment, based on inner harmony, rational way of thinking and being, on the other, as a set of stylistic features typical of a certain period, relevant to all fields of art: fine arts, architecture, music. The classical period in art falls on the second half of the 18th century and the first thirty years of the 19th century. In history, this period was marked by the emergence of a young man, progressive bourgeoisie, great revolution in France, followed by the years of Napoleon's reign, closed by the Congress of Vienna, absolute power for many years. The ideology of the Enlightenment underlies social movements in this period.
The art of this period was greatly influenced by the excavation of two Roman cities, Herculaneum and Pompeii, which deepened the knowledge of antiquity and aroused a fresh interest in ancient art. Art theorists recognized the Roman and Greek ideals of beauty as the only model worth imitating.
architecture, painting and classical sculpture are connected by a passion for noble proportions, simplicity of expression, static and a certain haughty coolness. Painting gives form precedence over color, shapes are modeled with chiaroscuro.
Artists eagerly look for analogies with antiquity in the subject matter. This also occurs in architecture (even such buildings are erected, which are copies of the ancients), and in sculpture (the portrayed people are given an ancient costume and features reminiscent of those of the Greeks and Romans), and in painting (scenes from ancient history and mythology are composed, and modern ones are styled after them).
There are two phases in classicism: in the first, classicism is still combined with the remains of baroque, in the second it expresses itself in its pure form, imbued with the influence of antiquity.