"Cupid a Captive', as with most Rococo paintings, appeals to our sense of escapism with the offer of a playful romp with delicate indulgence.
In the late 18th century artists began to remove the fanciful trappings of Rococo and saw a return to a more formal style of painting referred to as Neoclassicism. In Jacques-Louis David's "Oath of the Horatii", we are presented with a more hardened subject with brighter colors and more contrast. Neoclassicism is typified by straight lines, confidence in the mechanical structure, and a willingness to elevate its subjects to the standards of high ideals. David's painting depicts classic subjects in conflict, yet posed in its portrayal of balance and symmetry that is indicative of the Neoclassic period. Art from this period is often a reflection of allegiance to authority as mirrored from the society that produced it.
The early 19th century was highlighted by the Romantic style of art. It embraced the notion of a relaxed state guided by feelings of romance and love. The "Entombment of Atala" painted by Girodet-Trioson, shows the more personal viewpoint of emotions as it appeals to our sense of love and tragedy. The romantic treatment given this painting shows in the artists use of natural lighting on subjects that are struggling against their own helplessness.