Rococo to Romanticism, Week 2 - Because of Frances central...

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Because of France’s central location, it was at the crossroads of artistic production. France was one of the first countries to centralize. The Academy of Art was under the control of the monarchy so that works of art would promote the monarchy. Art was seen as powerful in opinion making. Rococo was the style linked closest to the French monarchy. When the monarch fell, so too did rococo. The term rococo initially referred to decorative aspects of French gardening. Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Louis XIV, 1701 It is meant to portray Louis XIV as the embodiment of the state’s power. He is elaborately dressed. His high heels give him greater height, stature. It is a very theatrical work, which was highly valued. Engraving of the Salon of 1785 The Academy was responsible for generating artistic and academic theories and also for putting on the exhibitions of the salon, an annual/bi-annual occurrence. These exhibitions were one of the only ways for an artist to establish himself. There was a jury, made up of prominent artists and theorists, that decided who would exhibit. They also awarded prizes. The large-scale paintings at the top are based on the human figure and modeled around historical events (history paintings). Below are smaller portraits. Then came landscapes, then still life. This mirrors the hierarchy of the genres. Man is at the center of art, moving towards inanimate objects. The lower painters were easier to see and the landscapes required closer viewing. Francois Boucher, Portrait of Antoine Watteau, 1725 He was very popular during his own lifetime. Still, he was unusual. He had no major commissions from the church or from the state. His art pieces were small and he did not do historical works. Antoine Watteau, Pilgrimage to the Island of Cythera, 1726 It shows the aristocracy at a festival. It shows a theatrical performance that was common of the French aristocracy. This shows the pleasures and entertainment of the upper class.

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