Rococo Art in Europe and America

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The Rococo era in Europe was a time of new ideas, thoughts and expressions. High society adapted to the change in culture when Louis XIV of France died. The Rococo era/time frame brought in a new wave of elegance and sophistication. This period is often referred to as the century of revolutions. Philosophy, science, rhetorical works and industries were all part of the age of revolution, a bevy of ideas and breakthroughs in the world of men. This age influenced American art only in the sense that it became appealingly elegant. Art in Europe, however, was elegant to the utmost; if man was so lofty, high, and scientific, art should be beautiful works of cleverness. Man was confident in himself; women were striving to be independent, a trait that shone through many female pieces such as Labille-Guiard’s Self Portrait with Two Pupils (26-16) and Vigee-Lebrun’s Self Portrait (26-15). As an age of revolutions, ideas ran rampant through people’s minds.

Compared with Baroque art, Rococo art featured people in almost every single painting, sculpture or picture. Though this era was a time of tension and unrest in many countries, the art the people produced was very, almost over decorated with designs and emblems, like Robert Adam’s Etruscan Room (26-24). Architecture was definitely different, but it was still symmetrical. Otherwise, the art remained very majestic but unique to its own era.

Interestingly, the role of women related to the artistic world was a statement of individualism. Women who were tired of being subjected to everything decided to throw off these proverbial bonds and be artists. It was a declaration of independence in society. (Kleiner, 739) An example of this is the beautiful self-portrait paintin...

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...ed Curiatti brothers, and vise versa. Unfortunately, the brothers had disagreements, and despite the laments of their sisters and wives, they fought and ended up killing one another. The tension displayed in this piece is, in a way, a parallel to David's tension he experienced during the French revolution.

Overall, I noticed that each piece from this era though tense at times, had a certain slow-paced peace about it, which is one element that made art from this period so distinctive.

Works Cited

Kleiner, Fred S., and Helen Gardner. Gardner's Art through the Ages: A Global History. Boston, MA: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2009. Print.

"Thomas Gainsborough, The Blue Boy English Rococo Era." Fine Art and Painting Tips. Wordpress. Web. 15 Feb. 2012. .
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