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Classicism refers to the appreciation and imitation of Greek and Roman literature, art, and architecture. Although the term is normally used to describe art derived from ancient influences, it can also mean excellence, high artistic quality, and conservatism. Classical art encompasses antiquity and later works inspired by it, the latter normally referred to as Neoclassical. Adherence to traditional aesthetic formalities was favored over expressionism and individuality. Classic art is distinguished by clarity, order, balance, unity, symmetry and dignity. The first major classic revival occurred during the Renaissance period in Italy. In the 18th century, the Neoclassical movement was established following the archaeological discovery of ancient ruins at Herculaneum and Pompeii. The style’s leading artists included Michelangelo, Raphael, Correggio, and Mantegna during the Renaissance and Mengs and Winckelman during the Neoclassical period.

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