Most people are aware that the Classical Period refers to the historical traditions and aesthetics of the ancient Greek and Roman periods, and Classicism refers to art inspired by this period of antiquity.
Most art modeled after the period is formal, and employs specific forms, compositions and subjects. In the world of painting and the fine arts it is seen most prominently in the 1400s and onward. Classicism as a broadly applied style saw its peak during the Renaissance, but it did continue to spread through the late 1600s, especially in Europe.
While not strictly modeled after classical forms and images, works of the Classicism period are inspired by the finest and strongest examples of the ancient Greek and Roman cultures. They usually embody clarity and symmetry and are meant to express admiration for the knowledge and principles of the period. Classicism can be applied to architecture as well as art and literature.
Later movements in Classicism are usually referred to as Neoclassicism, which saw its own peak in the mid-1700s to the late 1800s.
Artists considered representative of the period of Classicism include Leon Battista Alberti, Nicolas Poussin and Charles Le Brun.