During the 19th century, Europe, as well as the rest of the world, experienced rapid and significant changes in multiple areas. Both geographically and politically, Europe was constantly in a state of flux with the breakdown of the Spanish, the revolutions in France, the growth of the British and German empires, and the Holy Roman and French Napoleonic empires. Now, if you’re going to visit the best art galleries in London to purchase 19th century paintings, you should learn about the styles followed by the painters of the time first.
In 1800, just when the 19th century started, neoclassicism used to dominate the sphere of painting in Europe. This artistic movement developed in the 18th century as part of a much bigger decorative style encompassing sculpture, architecture, and decorative arts. Neoclassicism gained even more popularity with the discovery of world-renowned ancient sites, such as Pompeii and Herculaneum. During your search for paintings for sale, you should definitely check out a few neoclassic works.
Just like neoclassicism, romanticism was part of a bigger artistic movement that incorporated architecture and literature, apart from painting. It originated in Britain in the mid-18th century. In 1820, the movement spread through the entire European continent and started coexisting with neoclassicism, at least until the mid-19th century. By that time, both styles started eclipsing and got changed into other styles. You mustn’t forget to learn as much as possible about 19th century artists specializing in romanticism before you consider buying something.
The Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood
The Pre-Raphaelites included a group of artists from Britain. They came together to form a brotherhood that evolved from the romantic movement in painting. This group controversially opposed the so-called “ideals” of art favoured by the Royal Academy as exemplified in the painting of the Renaissance master Raphael. You’ll surely run into a few Pre-Raphaelite paintings at the best art galleries in London.
Another movement worth mentioning is called realism or naturalism. It originated in France in the 1850s right after the French Revolution that took place in 1848. Several equivalents of the style started cropping up in other European nations, particularly in Russia. However, realism was, for the most part, entirely about France and French painters.