AP Modern European History Project

Ch. 17: Rococo and Neoclassical Styles in 18th
Century Art and Enlightened Absolutism
Birth of Rococo Style – Hotels of Paris
•As lavish interior decoration in early 18th century
•Built by French aristocracy as Parisian houses
•Small, ornate interiors painted in pastels
•Held salons of the philosophes
Embarkation for Cythera
•Jean-Antoine Watteau, 1717
•“fete galante” – elegant scene in idyllic country
•Aristocracy at play, in stages of courtship
•Rococo in lavish dress, pastel color, soft light
Madame de Pompadour
•c. 1758
•Francois Boucher
•Louis XV’s mistress
•Rococo called “style
of Louis XV”
•Elegant dress with
flowers, ribbons, lace
and jewels
•Book and pen hint at
her intelligence
Portrait of Marie-Louise O’Murphy
•Francois Boucher
•Louis XV’s mistress
•Rococo in use of elegant
fabrics, pastel colors,
soft light
•Carefree, seductive
•Overly ambitious in
attempt to oust
La Gimblette
• c. 1770
• Jean-Honore
• Continues portrayal
of rich at play
• Extreme frivolity of
nude teasing pet
• Contrasts with reality
Blindman’s Buff
c. 1776
Jean-Honore Fragonard
Charming, blindfolded woman in idyllic setting
Blindfold as symbol for blindness of monarchy
Game over soon
Imperial Hall (Kaisarsaal)
Wurzburg, Bavaria
Balthasar Neumann
Rococo style moves across Europe
Pastels, light, detailed ornamentation
Mary Wollstonecraft
• 1759-1797
• First English feminist
• Analyzed condition of
18th cent. women
• Wrote A Vindication of
the Rights of Woman
• Declares right to
rational education to
support independence
• Promoted by J. J.
Winckelmann, right
• Return to antiquity,
as seen in ancient
images at right
• Morally and
politically serious
• Images of freedom
and democracy
The Grand Tour
• Traditional trip of
European aristocrats
• Stops at ancient art
and architecture
fosters Neoclassicism
• Common British
route began at Dover
to Turin, Florence,
Venice, Rome, Naples
The Oath of the Horatii
1784, Neoclassical Jacques-Louis David
Ancient themes of self-sacrifice and heroism
Patriotism over relationships
Separation of brave men, emotional women
The Death of Socrates
1787, Neoclassical Jacques-Louis David
Socrates speaks while reaching for hemlock
Heroism in choosing death over exile
Classic setting with chiaroscuro
Pantheon (Paris)
• Begun 1758 as
Jesuit church
• J. G. Soufflot
• Neoclassical in
columns, dome,
relief sculpture
• Burial place for
heroes of French
Bust of Voltaire
• 1778
• French Neoclassical
sculptor Houdon
• Form, style from
ancient Rome
• Facial expression of
enlightened thinker
who stood for social
and personal freedom
Benjamin Franklin
• 1778
• Jean-Antoine Houdon
• His first depiction of
American thinker
• Shows French
fascination with
• Pensive expression

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