16 KEY CONCEPTS: Rococo, Neoclassical and Romantic Historical correspondences: 18th and early 19th-centuries, Enlightenment and Age of Revolutions, Napoleonic AgeIn the eighteenth century, the Enlightenment had a great impact on art and culture. Wealth and power were redistributed into the hands of the middle class due to industrial manufacture. The exchange of power and wealth meant that patronage expanded, and the art that the new types of patrons commissioned reflected the optimistic and reform-oriented values.Rococo was a reaction against the formality and drama of the seventeenth-century Baroque style, popular with the Counter-Reformation Catholic Church and monarchies. Rococo is devoted solely to pleasure and is marked by a light-hearted mood that is created through pastel colors, delicately curving forms, dainty figures and playful subject matter.Neoclassical art, with its more sober mood and moralizing tone, was a reaction to Rococo. Neoclassical art is typified by a strong color palette, references to Ancient Greece and Rome and/or the Renaissance, and serious subject matter that addressed the Age of Revolutions.Romanticism is an early nineteenth-century reaction against Neoclassicism, both in the way it looks (form) and also in its themes and subject matter (content).Instead of optimism about the human condition and the power of rational thought and high standards, the Romantics emphasized the tragedy of existence and the restless yearning that results. Common Romantic subject matter includes heroism, love and death, extreme emotion, religious ecstasy, ghosts and the occult, the weird and fantastic, dreams, intoxication and wonder and absolute freedom and the exotic. Romantic art is often marked by intense colors, a very painterly approach and complex compositions.
17 Rococo, Neoclassical and Romantic Images Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Charles Le Brun. Hall of Mirrors, Palais de Versailles, begun 1678Germain Boffrand. Salon de la Princesse, Hotel de Subise, Paris, France, begun 1732Jean Antoine-Watteau. Le Pelerinage a L’Ile de CithereJean-Honore Fragonard. The Meeting, from the Loves of the Shepherds,Francois Boucher. Diana Resting After Her Bath, 1742Angelica Kauffmann. Cornelia Pointing to Her Children as Her Treasures, c. 1785Boucher/Kauffmann comparisonMarie-Louise-Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun. Portrait of Marie Antoinette with Her Children, 1787Jacques-Louis David. Oath of the Horatii,Francisco Goya. The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, no. 43 from Los Caprichos,Eugene Delacroix. Liberty Leading the People, 1830Jacques-Louis David. Napoleon Crossing the Saint-Bernard,Antoine-Jean Gros. Napoleon in the Plague House at Jaffa, 1804Joseph Mallord William Turner. Snowstorm: Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps, 1812
18 ASSIGNMENTHow do the Rococo, Neoclassical and Romantic styles appear in our contemporary visual culture (art, architecture, design, fashion, advertising, etc.)? Choose an example for each of the three styles from contemporary visual culture and describe why you think it pertains to that style. The paper should be 3-4 pages, and It is best to include the images.
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