Art that makes reference to ancient Greek or Roman style 

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  • Benjamin West, 'Pylades and Orestes Brought as Victims before Iphigenia' 1766

    Benjamin West
    Pylades and Orestes Brought as Victims before Iphigenia 1766
    Oil on canvas
    support: 1003 x 1264 mm
    Presented by Sir George Beaumont Bt 1826

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  • Sir Joshua Reynolds, 'A Child's Portrait in Different Views: 'Angel's Heads'' 1786-7

    Sir Joshua Reynolds
    A Child's Portrait in Different Views: 'Angel's Heads' 1786-7
    Oil on canvas
    support: 749 x 629 mm
    Presented by Lady William Gordon 1841

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  • Gavin Hamilton, 'Agrippina Landing at Brindisium with the Ashes of Germanicus' 1765-72

    Gavin Hamilton
    Agrippina Landing at Brindisium with the Ashes of Germanicus 1765-72
    Oil on canvas
    support: 1825 x 2560 mm
    Purchased 1982

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The terms classic or classical came into use in the seventeenth century to describe the arts and culture of the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome. The following of the principles of these ancient civilisations in art, architecture and literature is referred to as classicism.

Classicism is generally associated with harmony and restraint, and obedience to recognized standards of form and craftsmanship.

From the Renaissance on, classicism dominated Western art, with classical mythology – consisting of the various myths and legends of the ancient Greek and Roman gods and heroes – becoming a major source of subject matter for history painting.