Louis XVI style


Louis XVI style

Style of the visual arts produced in France from c. 1760 to the French Revolution. The predominant style in painting, architecture, sculpture, and the decorative arts was Neoclassicism—a reaction against the excesses of the Rococo style and a response to Jean-Jacques Rousseau's call for “natural” virtue, as well as a response to the excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum. The most prominent painter was Jacques-Louis David, whose severe compositions recalled the style of Nicolas Poussin. The foremost sculptor of the day was Jean-Antoine Houdon. The style in furniture was classical, yet workmanship was more complex than in any earlier period. Jean-Henri Riesener and other German craftsmen were among the most prominent cabinetmakers. See also Classicism and Neoclassicism.

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