April 20, 2012

Art History: Rococo

Jean-Honoré Fragonard is one of my favorites, because he quite often paints scenes of love and restlessness. These two paintings look to me as if a secret love affair is unfolding behind the scenes, and the lovers' hearts are beating a million times a second for one another. I don't know about you, but falling hopelessly in love with a handsome young man sounds like something I'd thoroughly enjoy. Also, that dog looks like my Mom's dog, and that is quite amusing to me.

The Love Letter, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1770, Metropolitan Museum

I love the way fabric is painted in classical or Academic-style paintings. The way the light is reflected, and how the fabric falls makes me want to reach in and touch it. Look at the fabric of her dress below!
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The Stolen Kiss, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Hermitage Museum

Antoine Watteau (pronounced WAH-TOE) is known for his paintings of fête galante, a french term meaning a frolicking, bucolic, outdoor party of rich, elegant people. I don't know about you, but my idea of a perfect summer afternoon would include running around in a sundress, in a wild-flower-filled meadow. And of course, no fête galante would be complete without a group of chubby cherubs tumbling through the air. Who even came up with fat baby angels anyway?!
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The Embarkation for Cythera, Antoine Watteau, 1717, Louvre

What do you think about Rococo painting? Do you love the romantic spirit, or do you find it irritatingly frilly?

4 comments:

  1. It is so cool that you think art history is cool! I can totally see love and restlessness in Fragonard's paintings. You can see that she is giddy, nervous, and so entranced by love :)

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  2. That does look like Oliver, my gosh. 

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  3. Have you ever been to London and visited the Wallace Collection? You'd love it! It's a fully furnished house with a huge collection of rococo paintings and furniture... Amazing, I just loved it. You feel transported in time and reading the stories about each painting is brilliant, these paintings were like the gossip magazines of the day! :)

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  4. oh, i can love rococo for what it is. although i lean toward things a tad more impressionist. but a little frilliness juxtaposed is always a good style fix! i adore your blog & am now following. what wonderful things will turn up? i have my sights set high.

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