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?

I'm a Californian in my mid-twenties who studied Art History and lived in France for 3 years. I blog honestly about my travels, share my thoughts on life, and get poetic about art and photography. I also sell prints of my photographs on Etsy.

Leave a comment: