Rococo painting
The Century of Louis XV
The Marquise de Pompadour became the mistress of Louis XV,
king of France, in 1745. François Boucher painted this portrait,
which hangs in the Louvre museum in Paris, France
 Part I. The 18th century in France
 Part II. Definition of Rococo
 Part III. Rococo painters
 Conclusion
 References
Rococo art, which flourished in France and Germany in the
early 18th century, was in many respects a continuation of the
baroque, particularly in the use of light and shadow and
compositional movement
Rejected the traditional themes of heroes and mythology and
instead focused on representing the carefree life characteristic
of the aristocratic patrons of the arts
This style received its name in the nineteenth century from
French émigrés, who used the word to designate in whimsical
fashion the old shellwork style (style rocaille), then regarded
as Old Frankish
Part I. The 18th century in France
The Rococo style succeeded Baroque Art in Europe. It was
centered in France, associated with the reign of Louis XV
Louis XV (1710-74), king of France (1715-74), whose failure
to provide strong leadership and badly needed reforms
contributed to the crisis that brought on the French Revolution
Pompadour, Marquise de, née Jeanne Antoinette Poisson
(1721-64), influential mistress of Louis XV, king of France,
known for her patronage of art and literature
In 1745 French population 25 million; 28 million in 1789
Emergence of the intellectual movement called the
Part II. Definition of Rococo
An eighteenth century art style which placed emphasis on
portraying the carefree life of the aristocracy rather than on
grand heroes or pious martyrs
Love and romance were considered to be better subjects for art
than historical or religious subjects
The style was characterized by a free, graceful movement; a
playful use of line; and delicate colors
Genre painting came back into favor when the Academy
admitted Watteau to its ranks in 1717 on the presentation of
this work, the subject of which was so novel that the term "fête
galante" was coined to describe it
Part III. Rococo painters
Among rococo painters, Jean-Antoine Watteau is known for
his ethereal pictures of elegantly dressed lovers disporting
themselves at fêtes galantes (fashionable outdoor gatherings)
Highly popular also were mythological and pastoral scenes,
including lighthearted and graceful depictions of women, by
Fragonard and Chardin
a. Watteau
Watteau, Jean-Antoine (1684-1721), French painter, who is
regarded as one of the outstanding artists of the rococo period
Born at Valenciennes, which had passed to France from the
Spanish Netherlands only six years before his birth
Moved to Paris in 1702, worked with Gillot, who stimulated
his interest in theatrical costume and scenes from daily life
In 1717 he submitted The Pilgrimage to the Island of Cythera
(Louvre, Paris), as his reception piece to the Academy
Watteau had many loyal friends and supporters who
recognized his genius, and although his reputation suffered
with the Revolution and the growth of Neoclassicism
The Pilgrimage to the Island of Cythera
This picture was Watteau's
diploma piece for the
Peinture et de Sculpture.
Watteau's nomination was
accepted by the Académie
in 1712. the general
atmosphere of the painting
is Venetian, and the distant
mountains in their blue
haze recall Leonardo
b. Fragonard
Fragonard, Jean-Honoré (1732-1806), French painter of the rococo
age, became a favorite in the courts of Louis XV and Louis XVI
His most familiar works, such as The Swing (c. 1766), are
characterized by delicate hedonism
François Boucher was prevailed upon to accept him as a pupil
In 1752, Fragonard's elementary training completed, Boucher
recommended that he compete for a Prix de Rome scholarship,
which meant study under Carle Van Loo, in Paris
In 1756, Fragonard set off with other scholarship winners for the
French Academy at Rome
A prodigiously active artist, he produced more than 550 paintings,
several thousand drawings (although many hundreds are known to
be lost), and 35 etchings. His style, based primarily on that of
Rubens, was rapid, vigorous, and fluent, never tight or fussy
The Swing
Oil on canvas, 81 x
64 cm
Wallace Collection,
c. Chardin
Chardin, Jean Baptiste Siméon (1699-1779), French painter,
one of the greatest of the 18th century
Embodies the frivolity and elegant superficiality of French
court life at the middle of the 18th century
In 1727-31 he was in Italy, and on his return was soon busy as
a versatile fashionable artist
Director of the Gobelins factory in 1755 and Director of the
Academy and King's Painter in 1765
Favourite artist of Louis XV's most famous mistress, Mme de
Pompadour, to whom he gave lessons and whose portrait he
painted several times
Winter (1735; Frick Collection, New York )
It was a reaction of nobility against classical baroque which
had been imposed at Versailles by Louis XIV
Style of the aristocracy: it revealed a taste for what is clear and
elegant, refined and gallant
Life without worry, closely related to nature
Its influence on French architecture is limited, yet it reaches
Germany where it finds favorable ground
The 1789 French Revolution interrupted the development of
Rococo was eventually replaced by Neoclassicism, which was
the popular style of the American and French revolutions

similar documents