What then is a Classic?
A Classic is a work of high authority. It could mean
a literary work belonging to ancient Greece or
Rome or a writer or his/her work that is of such
high quality/merit — that, it is acknowledged as
The influence of classicism was strong in France in
the 17th and the 18th centuries, but its influence
was also felt very strongly in England at that time.
The Classic Age
is a body of doctrine thought to be derived from or
to reflect the qualities of ancient Greek and Roman
the term refers to the admiration and imitation of
Greek and Roman literature, art, and architecture.
refers to the styles, rules, conventions and modes of
the classical authors, and their influence on the
works of later authors
The first major revival of classicism
”Cosimo de' Medici” gathered a circle of
humanists who collected, studied,
expounded, and imitated the classics.
The Greek and Roman orders of
architecture were also revived during the
Renaissance and applied to ecclesiastical
• The classicism of the Renaissance led
formation of schools of art and music.
• The Renaissance also explicitly returned
to architectural models and techniques
associated with Greek and Roman
antiquity, including the golden rectangle as
a key proportion for buildings, the classical
orders of columns, as well as a host of
ornament and detail associated with Greek
and Roman architecture.
• Italy writers affected by the revival of
classical conventions included Francis
Bacon and Ben Jonson in England and
Pierre Corneille and Jean Racine in
• Renaissance painters and sculptors
whose works reflect the classical influence
include Andrea Mantegna, Raphael, and
• Major English
• William Shakespeare an
English poet and
regarded as the greatest
writer in the English
language and the world's
He is often called
England's national poet
and the "Bard of Avon"
• BEN JONSON
contemporary of William
Shakespeare, he is best
known for his satirical
plays, particularly Volpone,
The Alchemist, and
Bartholomew Fair, which
are considered his
best,and his lyric poem
• Christopher Marlowe) was
an English dramatist, poet
and translator of the
Elizabethan era. Marlowe
was the foremost
Elizabethan tragedian of
• William Wycherley an
English dramatist of the
Restoration period, best
known for the plays The
Country Wife and The
Edmund Spenser poet best
known for The Faerie Queene, an
epic poem and fantastical allegory
celebrating the Tudor dynasty and
Elizabeth I. He is recognised as
one of the premier craftsmen of
Modern English verse in its
infancy, and is considered one of
the greatest poets in the English
In the theatre
• Classicism in the theatre was developed
by 17th century French playwrights from
what they judged to be the rules of Greek
classical theatre, including the "Classical
unities" of time, place and action, found in
the Poetics of Aristotle.
They believe that nature in
universe was imitation or
Art is dangerous because when
human being see or hear art ,
they want to imitate it.
• Shakespeare's King Lear is considered a
classic of English literature and The
Scarlet Letter in American literature.
• The influence of these French rules on playwrights
in other nations is debatable. In the English
• Restoration playwrights such as William Wycherly
and William Congreve would have been familiar
• William Shakespeare and his contemporaries did
not follow this Classicist philosophy, in particular
since they were not French and also because they
wrote several decades prior to their establishment.
• Those of Shakespeare's plays that seem to
display the unities, such as The Tempest,
probably indicate a familiarity with actual models
from classical antiquity.
• Classicism in architecture developed during
the Italian Renaissance, notably in the
writings and designs of Leon Battista Alberti
and the work of Filippo Brunelleschi.
• Church architecture essentially continued in a
late Gothic style until the Reformation, and
then stopped almost completely, although
church monuments, screens and other fittings
often had classical styles from about the mid-century.
The few new church buildings were
usually still Gothic in style
England’s most significant
contribution the arts in the 17th
• The 20th Century
• In early 20th-century Europe and the United
States there was a renewed interest in Greek
literature, and classical models were
somewhat revived, as in the work of Ezra
Pound and T. S. Eliot.
• Abstracted classical elements can be found
in the paintings of Paul C¨¦zanne and Pablo
Picasso, and in the architecture of Ludwig
Mies van der Rohe. A more overt classicism
has found renewed acceptance among many
postmodern architects in recent years.
Spearheading the 20th-century neoclassical
revival in music