Painting Styles


In this article, a summary is provided on the comparison and contrast between the neoclassical, Impressionism, and Abstract Expressionism. This is enhanced through the use of the Luncheon of the boating by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the neoclassic piece Jacques Louis David and the Abstract Expressionist piece of Autumn Rhythm by Jackson Pollock. These collections are used as examples and enhancing clarity on the three different perspectives offered.


Neoclassicism was aimed at reviving the Roman art and ancient Greek ideals; which where to discover some forms of Pompeli classics in the effort to have their ideas expressed about sacrifice, courage and love that was devoted towards a country. This love was expressed through paintings that were nobly, inspiring and harmonious. With the French revolution, there was resumption of the political purpose and morals of the paintings coupled with embracing this style which came to be referred to as neoclassicism. Even in the period earlier than 1780s, there has been a widespread taste which had started turning its way from the rococo subjects which were lighthearted and disarming and with the nearing of the revolution, there was an increase in seeking of personal sacrifice and public virtue honorable themes by the artists from the antique Rome and Greece history. The paintings were displayed with utmost discipline through the use of the neoclassical austere precision style to ensure that their subjects were stamped with nothing but utmost truth and certainty (National Gallery of Art, 2011).



Impressionism came in response to the 1828 photography invention coupled with the successive photography process involvement in the paintings development. The renaissance outlook was rejected together with the balanced idealization, conformation and chiaroscuro to ensure exhibition of a fleeting moment – authenticity portrayed in colors and light. The luncheon of the boating party is an impressionist painting which has attracted people from all the walks of life to have a look at it. This painting has been marked as the most preferred Phillips collection work (Phillips Collection, 2011). In the painting, a peaceful atmosphere is captured in a room where wine, conversation and food is shared by the friends of Renoir on a balcony that overlooks the Chatou restaurant. This is a reflection of the French society transition; in which the new modern society of Parisia is embodied.

Abstract Expressionism

Abstract Expressionism was aimed at expressing the feelings and emotions without referring to the world of reality. The paintings were swiftly applied on enormous canvases – action painting and color field. With the Autumn Rhythm created in late 1950s, Pollock was at his work peak. As for Abstract expressionists, Pollock portrayed art as a way of conveying contents that were noteworthy or revelatory. In this picture, which was non-figurative, there was an application of thin painting to the canvas that was raised and unprimed lying on a flat floor instead of being erected on a sustained easel (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007). There was in addition the use of sticks knives, trowels in the effort to ensure that what was built was a composition that was thick and poetic in which there were intricate lines skeins.

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