Neo-classicism, which took inspiration from Ancient Greek and Roman Design, spread throughout Western countries for nearly a century.

L'église de la Madelein: a large column structure with various religious imagery painted along the side.
L’église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine

Image source: by Jorge Lascar

Neo-Classic Architecture

Neo-classical architecture is a revival of Classical architecture. The movement explored the logic of Classical volume and a tendency to reuse Classical features. Neo-classical architecture has the following characteristics:

  • Grandeur of scale
  • Simple geometrical forms
  • Greek or Roman details
  • Dramatic use of columns
  • Blank walls
An example of Neoclassical architecture in the form of a circle column structure found in France.
An example of Neoclassical architecture from France.

Image source: by Following Hadrian

The Pantheon, in Paris, was originally conceived as a monument for the French nation, as it is the church of Paris’s patron saint. It is Neo-classical because of these features:

  1. Classical forms fused with Gothic design, including concealed flying buttresses and relatively light stone vaulting.
  2. The Greek cross present in the piece. Originally, the walls had windows in each bay between the columns.
Photo of The Pantheon, in Paris, which is an example of neo-classical design.
The Pantheon (1756-97)

Image source: by ell brown

The Brandenburg Gate is an 18th-century neoclassical monument in Berlin, and one of the most famous landmarks of Germany. It was built on the site of a former city gate used to mark the start of a road from Berlin to the city of Brandenburg. The project was made by Carl Gotthard Langhans and was finished between 1788 and 1791. It has twelve Doric columns, that form five passageways. On the top of the gate is a Quadriga, a chariot pulled by four horses. The new gate was originally called the Peace Gate and the goddess Eirene, who is depicted, symbolizes peace.

Photo of the Brandenburg Gate, in Germany, which is a large tan-stone structure with columns.
Brandenburg Gate, Germany

Image source: by archer10 (Dennis)

Neo-Classic Interior Design

A mahogany lounge chair with a bright red cushion.
Couch () Attributed to Duncan Phyfe

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Neo-classical furniture tends to be rectangular and without curves. It features straight lines, with a logical order, and Rococò furniture influence. Ornamentation is sometimes detailed and rich, but is always abundant. There is an important use of painting, light carving relief, and marquetry. Mahogany is the most often present, yet sometimes satinwood was present in this style.

Carved and gilded beechwood sofa, upholstered in modern blue dotted silk.
Canapé à confidents (1775–80) by Claude I Sené

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