Quintessential Neoclassical architecture – meets Modern Design .
The Cathedral of VilniusNeoclassical architecture is an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing features of late Baroque. In its purest form it is a style principally derived from the architecture of Classical Greece and Rome and the architecture of the Italian architect Andrea Palladio. In form, Neoclassical architecture emphasizes the wall rather than chiaroscuro and maintains separate identities to each of its parts.
Finnish towns were built of wood, often in the Neoclassical style. (Studio of W Runeberg on Porvoo)Indoors, neoclassicism made a discovery of the genuine Roman interior, inspired by the rediscoveries at Pompeii and Herculaneum, which had started in the late 1740s, but only achieved a wide audience in the 1760s, with the first luxurious volumes of tightly controlled distribution of Le Antichità di Ercolan. The antiquities of Herculaneum showed that even the most classicizing interiors of the Baroque, or the most “Roman” rooms of William Kent were based on basilica and temple exterior architecture, turned outside in: pedimented window frames turned into gilded mirrors, fireplaces topped with temple fronts, now all looking quite bombastic and absurd. The new interiors sought to recreate an authentically Roman and genuinely interior vocabulary, employing flatter, lighter motifs, sculpted in low frieze-like relief or painted in monotone en camaïeu (“like cameos”), isolated medallions or vases or busts or bucrania or other motifs, suspended on swags of laurel or ribbon, with slender arabesques against backgrounds, perhaps, of “Pompeiian red” or pale tints, or stone colors. The style in France was initially a Parisian style, the “Goût grec” (“Greek taste”) not a court style. Only when the young king acceded to the throne in 1774 did Marie Antoinette, his fashion-loving Queen, bring the “Louis XVI” style to court.
Working on my encyclopedia of collectable chairs from neoclassical to the mid-century modern..
Au revoir neo- classics!