Neoclassicism and The Age of Enlightenment

941N09017_6V5JWListening and absorbing information can be wonderful, particularly when you are around people with a vast wealth of knowledge in whatever it is you may be interested in.  I try to shut my ears when I don’t want to hear things certain people say on subject matter which I am not interested in.  However, when the opposite is true, I perk my ears up. At first, I wasn’t familiar with the term neoclassical design as it wasn’t part of my education, but I learned by asking questions and watching. When a decorator or antiques dealer refers to neoclassical design, here is what they are talking about.


Neoclassicism  in its original true form coincided with the Age of Enlightenment and continued into the early 19th century. In architecture, it has prevailed many years thereafter even into today’s era (although not as frequently as seen in prior eras). Neoclassicism also represented a rejection of the previous excesses of the Rococo style. This style emulates the classical style art and architecture of Ancient Greece and Rome. This movement infiltrated and inspired the art, literature, decorative arts, music, and architecture of the time.  These pieces were highly collectible and with the advent of the Grand Tour, these antiquities were spread throughout Europe.


I, for one, am a HUGE fan of this period in design.  In fact, it is my favorite period of all the decorative periods.  As a traditionalist and a maximalist, could there be a better marriage between the objects of my desire?  I think not.  If you’re like me and have a similar palate for design and culture, look to this era for inspiration.


“It is said the city was spared c.180-1987_vase_stand_1000pxa golden-oak period because its residents, lacking money to buy the popular atrocities of the nineties, necessarily clung to their rosewood and mahogany. “
Courtesy of Wikipedia, 1st Dibs,, V & A, Sotheby’s