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Classic, Classical, Romantic
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Besides the standard definitions of these terms, they are used in writings about art. The term classic most generally refers to something that follows a standard type of excellence as in, for example, classic cars. In art the term classicism is generally used to refer to a style of art that stems from Antique role-models, such as the Ancient Romans or Greeks. By definition, a piece of art that fits into the "classicism" definition has come from classic art. In medieval times under the rule of Charlemagne architecture with columns, pilasters, capitals and so forth once again became popular designs. The high Renaissance in Italy was a rebellion against the outdated craft guilds. During that period, artists would refer to various writers, poets, painters and sculptors of Ancient Greece and Rome in order to justify their art. Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper" and Raphael's "School of Athens" are both excellent examples of classicism during the high Renaissance. Baroque classicism started in the seventeenth century and was directed against the Mannerist artists, Caravaggio's naturalism, and the Northern realist artists. Annabale Carracci and Nicolas Poussin were considered the heirs to the Renaissance classicism in Italy and France respectively.

By the eighteenth century, artists painted in what was considered to be "Neo-Classicism" or a "new" sense of classicism. Because of the fixed nature of classicism during that time, artists rebelled against it and started the Romantic movement in art. Interestingly enough, both movements were fueled by the French Revolution. The Romantic Movement reached its height in about 1830 and was based on the freedom to express passion as well as the exotic. It was also coupled with sometimes being absurd. In France, Ingres was the champion of Neo-Classicism; Delacroix was the hero of Romanticism. Each of them stood for an approach to life as well art. The dichotomy between the two spawned Cubism and Surrealism, which focused on the difference between form and subject. Cezanne, who started as a follower of Delacroix, ended his career being labeled as one of the true "classic" artists. Finally, Pablo Picasso's "Head of a Woman", which was done in 1921 and is now in the Art Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, is considered to be a good example of modern classicism. However, although Picasso's painting did try to recapture the antique values of heroism, for all intents and purposes, the Classic aesthetic ideals are no longer used in the twentieth century.

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