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!
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?!
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?


  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 :)

  2. That does look like Oliver, my gosh. 

  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! :)

  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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