The Rise and Fall of Napoleon


The Age of Enlightenment was followed by the Romantic period, an expanse of time that saw the French Revolution, the American Revolution, the rise and fall of Napoleon, major scientific advances, major loss of human life, devout faith in the doctrine of human reason, and the loss of faith in human reason and a return to the sublime right of nature and spirituality. In short, a span of time defined by massive change and inconsistency. In this case assignment, compare the Neo-Classicist painter Jacque-Louis David’s Oath of Horatti and Romanticist painter Eugène Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People, in order to examine how these artists represented these tumultuous years. Again, use the formal language of visual analysis to explore their artistic approaches. Briefly reference the two previous art styles we have studied (Renaissance and Baroque) in order to trace how these two new art styles (Neo-Classicism and Romanticism) differ or carry on the earlier traditions. Use the required course materials to help you discuss, briefly, (1) the history of Neo-Classical and Romanticist art and these two artists in particular, (2) the different approaches and beliefs in human reason and rationality, and (3) how David and Delacroix chose to convey revolution.
It is important to note that this assignment is your third encounter with Art History and Art Criticism, and it is equally important that you continue to exercise your ability to visually analyze. The required course materials under “How To Write About Art: Art Criticism and Formal Analysis” will continue to aid you in developing these skills.
Assignment Expectations
Here are five keys to writing a great Case Assignment! For each Case in this course, please:
1.Make sure you fully address the case assignment prompt- don't just describe the painting and don’t forget to ‘really look’ at the painting. Be sure to respond to the expectations stated under "Learning Outcomes" in the Syllabus.
2.Apply ideas from the background readings to your analysis and discussion of the case assignment prompt.
3.Write, at minimum, three to four pages, not including images or references.
4.Include a separate cover page that includes your name, the course name, the module, and assignment name.
5.Set your format to 1" margins on all four sides, 12-point font, double-spaced.
Include a separate cover AND reference page at the end that includes every website and article on which you base your information and analysis. In the reference list, please note that a URL with no additional information is not a complete reference. Over time, link root will make any URL useless. Each reference should contain all the information a reader would need to find the source.
In this Case Assignment, you will:
•Give an explanation of the values—influences, themes, techniques, subjects—characteristic of the period or style under study.
•Give some information about how the social, political, or religious history of the period influenced its art and artists.
•Provide biographical information about the artist whose work is assigned or (in SLP assignments) chosen for reflection.



The Renaissance era started in the 1400s in Italy and is one of the most vital parts of the European history as it presents the transition from medieval time to modern age. In the 1600s, this period was followed by Baroque period representing the transformation coming during the reformation. The artist from Renaissance period had their focus on the values and knowledge coming from Roman and Greek culture. Whereas the Baroque arts can be classified as the recreation of the Renaissance arts which were complex and diverse, emotional, dramatic and even used by Catholic Counter-Reformation for presenting their voice against Protestantism. 

Neoclassicism and Romanticism are two eras of literary, artistic and intellectual movements depicting the difference between the Western Culture and its history. Neoclassicism ranged from 18th century to 19th century. Whereas, Romanticism began during the elapse of the 18th century. The inspiration for Neoclassicism was drawn from places with classical culture and art, Ancient Rome and Greece. Neoclassicism stressed on logic and reason and their subject dealt primarily with the human beings. In this era, the technique used did not use any color and no trace of brushstroke were seen instead the emphasis was given towards drawing with lines. The primary chief architects of this period were Alexander Pope and John Dryden, and the best painter wasJ. L. David.
Romanticism was visible in architecture, literature, and arts. It stresses upon the movements like Industrial Revolution and Enlightenment. During romanticism, emotions were given high value. This is the prime reason that emotions and self-experience were given high importance in Romantic Period. The writer of Romanticism era focused on describing nature as compared to Neoclassicism that focused on society. The technique used in this era was rich in color where the brushstrokes were visible, and it was unrestrained. The primary poets of this era are Shelley, Keats and Byron and painters were Eugene Delacroix and Theodore Gericault.The case study compares the works of Neo-Classicist painter Jacque-Louis David’s Oath of Horatti and Romanticist painter Eugène Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People and comparing general features and their styles and are judged on various other criteria. 

The different approaches and beliefs in human reason and rationality

Neoclassicismhas appealed to the artists who supported the French Revolution and presented the democratic legacy which was prevalent in Rome and Greece. Jacques-Louis David was the most influential of all the neoclassical painters. His first work was the Oath of the Horatii, depicting the legendary warriors taking a pledge towards forming the allegiance to the Roman Republic. Another works from David were the portrayal of a revolutionary martyr in his masterpiece called The Death of Marat and the painting called
Napoleon Crossing the Alps, being the official painter of the emperor.

Whereas, the Romantic painting has been divided into two broad categories namely: Landscape painting where the primary subject is the environment and the figure painting where figures are the primary subject. One of the greatest Romantic painters was Eugène Delacroix, who won accolades for his brilliant visual effects using contrasting color with adjacent yet small strokes. He presented his masterpiece the Liberty Leading the People, where he depicted the French Revolution with grisly destruction yet heroic glory. Romantic paintings, therefore, stressed on the natural beauty whereas the Neoclassicism was a reflection of the society.

David and Delacroix are views

Oath of the Horatii

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The eyes grasp the two orders namely the figure and the décor. The painting is organization into three varying groups each representing different purpose. In order to create the appeal of elder Horatius, the left represents the spontaneous oath and its vigor depicting the strength whereas the right-hand side presented the anguish of the people and compressed into their emotions. This contrast is accentuated by the distance between the three. The grief of crying women with troubled children is opposed by the warrior’s determination.The picture depicts architectural space with massive arches columns and majestic shadow. The three groups are corresponded by three archways. The painter has softened the atmosphere by using shades of pink, brown, red and green in a discreet manner. He chose to close his painting off and let it bathe in the shadow. A brick-tone reflection and the figures encircled by the mysterious halo has been presented in the painting. This painting presents the founding act of moral and aesthetic order, in the harmony of colors and spiritual density of the figures along with sacrifice that is transfigured using the warrior and their oath. 

Liberty Leading the People

The painting is a symbolism of conquest of French Revolution by the people. The prime focus of this painting is the loosely clothed woman who is holding the flag of the French Revolution along with a musket. She symbolized the primary motive of the revolution and the fight for change and liberty. The painting represents the citizen feeling unchallenged and are stepping over the French army without any fear. In order to create the impact of this great revolution, Delacroix has played with anatomy. On the right side, pistols are brandished by a young boy and a dockworker on the far left whereas white-collared gentlemen in the middle depicting that all of them are working together for taking their country back. The painting highlights all the male French citizens belonging from different classes being marching as one glorifying the war and consequently perpetuating the French pride. Colors have been used for emphasizing the actions and are reinforced beautifully in the structure. The red splashes in the man's sash which is trying to rise upwards at the feet of the Libertyhas beautifully contributed to the whole revolution. 


Khan Academy. (2016). Khan Academy. Retrieved 19 October 2016, from
Khan Academy. (2016). Khan Academy. Retrieved 19 October 2016, from
July 28: Liberty Leading the People | Louvre Museum | Paris. (2016). Retrieved 19 October 2016, from
Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People. (2016). Retrieved 19 October 2016, from

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