math linear algebra.docx - A.故事 Commissioned by the...

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A. 故事 Commissioned by the notorious French libertine Baron de St. Julien as a portrait of his mistress, The Swing was to be painted to the following specificity: "I should like you to paint Madame seated on a swing being pushed by a Bishop. " While this odd request was turned down by other painters such as Doyen, a painter of more serious historical subjects, Fragonard leapt to the occasion, producing what became the most iconic work of the French Rococo. In the foreground the playboy Baron himself is depicted, reclining in the lush shrubbery, one arm outstretched towards the maiden's skirts, his other arm holding his balance. His mistress flies through the air on a sylvan swing, the lovely young lady giving herself away to frivolous abandon, her shoe flying off in the heat of the moment. In the background of the composition one can see what was originally going to be the Bishop requested by the perverse Baron, but which was changed to the mistress's husband by Fragonard. The husband plays a lesser role, being immersed in shadow while the Baron is illuminated under the maiden's dress. The inanimate objects add to the story as well. Two cherubs below the swing appear concerned by the sordid actions of the humans above them, one looking up at the women in trepidation and the other looking away from the action with a scowl. On the left side of the image is a stone statue of Cupid who raises a finger to his lips to point out the secretive nature of the impending affair. *Why does this painting typify the Rococo? • painterly, lush, atmospheric, curling forms, ethereal, asymmetrical compositions, soft colors • erotic adventures of the elite • elaborate gardens • scenes of mythology, birds, flowers, oriental scenes • rocaille forms and lines inspired by shells, rocks, vines • curvilinear forms The mood in the painting is lighthearted and gay . The overall effect is one of erotic mirth and frivolity, typical of Rococo works. The contrast between light and shadow adds to the feeling that something illicit is taking place. Where is this scene supposed to take place? Garden? *How does it mirror picturesque gardens? The inanimate objects add to the story as well. Two cherubs below the swing appear concerned by the sordid actions of the humans above them, one looking up at the women in trepidation and the other looking away from the action with a scowl. On the left side of the image is a stone statue of Cupid who raises a finger to his lips to point out the secretive nature of the impending affair . The branches and the tree are full of leaves, and its overgrown, sometimes the cross of branches is expression of passion *How was this painting subversive? An interesting use of shape in this painting is the symbolic cherubs in the background of the scene. This could suggest some subversion of traditional Christian-based morals, or a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the shocked cherubs watching a scandalous act (the man looking up the swinging girl’s skirt).
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  • Spring '18
  • Randall Griffin
  • History painting

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