The eighteenth century was a dynamic era, based on new, "enlightened" ideas about humanity and its place in the world. It ended however with violence, with revolutions in America and France. European art during this period was strikingly diverse. For a century, playful and decorative style "rococo”Was replaced by neoclassicism, a simpler and tougher approach to art inspired by classical culture.
This revival of the spirit of the ancient past was facilitated by the Great Tour, as a result of which rich young people went to Italy to complete their education, often ordering portraits and other works of art. At the turn of the century, after the French Revolution, Emperor Napoleon adopted the neoclassical style for propaganda purposes.