Rococo Art Movement

Art has always been lavish and a symbol of pride for the royalty. Hence, in the seventeenth and eighteenth century, when Baroque art was becoming prominent, so was the Rococo art movement, which had its own tone and style but was largely an extension of Baroque. The debate between the importance of colors over the importance of drawings and the movement away from the symbolism of Church, fueled Rococo art and its paintings.

Among the many artists and painters of the time, Francois Boucher was considered the finest and a perfect example of French Rococo art. His father, who had a sense of light-hearted mythical painting and landscapes, trained him. He worked for the Queen of France and Madame de Pompadour, who was the most powerful woman in France and the mistress of Louis XV. Boucher and his paintings had a different theme of mythological scenes, covered in passionate and intimate scenes. His genuine sense of eroticism and art that defined generic beauty displayed his ability to portray light colors with depth in reasoning. He influenced many of the later painters. He used his own wife and children as models for his paintings.

Another great artist of the era was Noel-Nicolas Coypel, who belonged to a very respectful and prominent family of painters over generations. Nicholas’s father Noel, was a court painter to Louis XIV. Although Nicholas’s work was not as famous as Boucher, Fragonard and Watteau, they are still remarkable. In one of his paintings Louise Élisabeth, the subject is dressed in the best styles at the time, while being portrayed as the goddess, Venus. It brought a refreshing mix of both myth and the allegory that was common in the 18th century.

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Rococo

  Rococo is one of  the art genres that was popular in Europe from around 1720 to 1770 especially around France, Germany, and Austria. The term Rococo comes from the French word, ‘rocaille’ which means decorations shaped of shells.

  When the term Rococo was first introduced to the world, it specifically used to explain the handicrafts for the aristocrats, but later on it became used for explaining French art and then, it is used to represent a typical form of art that appeared  across Europe. Nowadays Rococo refers to a typical type of art for with creative and self regulating values.

  Rococo can be seen as an extended form of Baroque, because it succeeds the main elements of Baroque. They both prefer to use bent, curved and intricate designs, but there are some differences. Baroque designs are more powerful and energetic-masculine, and on the other hand, Rococo designs are feminine, more refined and sophisticated.

   Because  Rococo mirrored the curved, delicate loyal styles Louis 15th, it was usually used for interior decoration, furniture, and gold/silversmith. The distinctive characteristics of Rococo stands out when it is used in decorative arts, especially interior designs, and the decortions of furniture. Architects at the time excogitated of making a curved indoor structure without making the segmentation being seen.

    The interior designs of Rococo was to combine all the elements of paintings,sculpture, craftwork, and mirror on the same basis, so the characteristics of Rococo were also applied to other areas. Furnitures and tableware were made with vibrant and elegant patterns and instead of excessive design, they started using natural designs such as plants or men.

The Rococo Art

Rococo is an artistic and style movement from the eight eighteenth century. This particular artistic movement brought a revolution in various aspects of art including, architecture, painting, interior design, music, theater, etc. It has its origin in Paris, France as a response to the grand and strict regulations of the extravagant art of that period.

Rococo artists and architects used an altogether different approach to art which was more graceful than the political Baroque. Their style was highly decorated and trifled with light colors, asymmetrical designs, curves, and gold. Rococo has been used by different artists in different artistic modes! In the Furniture and decorative objects, The Rococo art used themes that were light hearted and had complex designs. As a result, this French art became the new superior art that was used by the upper class people to decorate their homes setting up the new fashion style statement.

Rococo style highly embraced the “asymmetry”, something that was new to the European style. In terms of Architecture also, Rococo architecture was much lighter and graceful. However, both the Rococo and Baroque style architecture bared many similarity yet both were different in terms of symmetry, theme, style and their respective emphasis on religion.

In terms of Interior design concept, Rococo swiftly made its presence in the European culture. Rococo art used the textures using flame, leafy or shell-similar textures. The interiors of the walls, ceiling, furniture, and works of metal and porcelain present a single harmony. The Rococo art used the light colors that were soft and paler in comparison to the normal rich colors with dark primary impact that was once the taste in Baroque style of art. By the end of 1720s, Rococo was in its full blossom and largely impacted the interiors and designs all over the Europe.

Claude Monet: The French Impressionist

Claude Monet was a founding member of the French Impressionist movement and was one the most respected artist of the movement. Infact the word Impression was derived from his painting titled “Impression, soleil levant”.

Claude Monet was born on 14 November 1840 in Paris, France. His father wanted him to run their family grocery business but he always wanted to become an artist. He was 11 years old when he entered Le Havre secondary school of the arts. He was well known for his charcoal paintings which he even sold for ten to twenty francs. He even served in the army for a very short period of time but had to come out after he contracted typhoid fever.

Monet was better known as the driving force behind the Impressionism movement. He dedicated his life to finding new and better methods of painting. Monet was greatly influenced by the work on Eugene Boudin who introduced him to the possibility of plein-air (outdoor) painting. He thought in terms of colors and shapes rather than scenes and objects. He used bright colours in dabs and dashes and squiggles of paint. He even travelled to different locations to seek inspirations in their landmarks, landscapes, and seascapes.

In the beginning of May, 1883 Monet’s fortunes started to change for better as he started to make a good amount of money from his paintings. The success can be attributed to his dealer Paul Durand-Ruel who started to achieve increasing success in selling his paintings. By 1890 he was prosperous enough to buy a house of his own.

Monet died of lung cancer on 5 December 1926 at the age of 86. He one of the most decorated artists of all time and his paintings sell for millions of dollars even today. Monet’s Le Pont du chemin de fer à Argenteuil, an 1873 painting of a railway bridge spanning the Seine near Paris, was sold for a record $41.4 million at Christie’s auction in New York on 6 May 2008.

Impressionism(Impressionnisme)

Impressionism is one of the modern art movements that started to be formed in the late 19th century ~early 20th century around France. It started in art, but spread over other genres such as music and literature.

Before Impressionism was introduced to the world, French art valued paintings with historical themes, religious themes, or portraits. These styles  were kept and practiced by the Academie des Beaux-Art, which dominated the French art. They preferred art pieces that looked realistic-the artists had a restrained use of colours, and sometimes applied golden varnish to keep the tone down.

Impressionsim art started to emphasize the colour, tone, and texture of the paintings, which was something very sensational at the time. They tried to capture and depict the diversity of colours that subtly changed as the light moves. They tried to show the exact scene objectively in their paintings, using various colours, tones ,and momentary effects.

Artists who performed Impressionism were called Impressionists. Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Frederic Bazille were one of the first Impressionists of France. They had two things in common-that they studied under the artist Charles Gleyre and that they showed interest in painting the landscape or contemporary life rather than the themes that were valued those days. In order to paint the scenery that was  reflected by natural sunlight, they used bright and bold colours,  that made the painting more vivid.

A Closer Look at the Impressionists

The Anonymous Painters Society organized a maiden exhibition in 1874 in Paris, which launched the impressionism movement. Notably among them are Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet and Edgar Degas.

This group of artists prided themselves in their artistic independence and even ignored the official Salon jury which was known to award medals to recognized works of art. Critics described the works of the impressionists as sketch-like work that looked unfinished. These comments are attributed to the novel style of painting that the impressionists adopted. For instance, they did not apply a thick golden varnish like the classical artists did and they used loose strokes in their works. The use of radical bright colors also characterized impressionists’ works as opposed to the traditional neutral greys, blacks and whites.

Progressive writers however did praise the impressionists, describing the new form of art as modern. In Edmond Duranty’s essay, The New Painting, he describes impressionism as innovative and revolutionary. Today, the impressionist school is known for their modern themes, the incorporation of new ideas and the employment of new technology.

Generally impressionist had a multifaceted approach to their artistic expression, obviously staying true to their individual independence. Claude Monet’s, Sunrise which was in the 1874 exhibition demonstrated emphasis on light effects, broken brush strokes and pure unblended colors earning the name impressionism from critics. Alfred Sisley’s Chestnut Trees portrayed a seemingly effortless brushwork and casual style that was accepted even in the Salon. Pierre Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet are known for modern images of rural and suburban leisure out of the city. Pissarro depicted the life of vacationers in rural Pontoise. In the depiction of post Prussian war Paris, Gustave Caille botte and Pissarro painted images of the renovated city depicting public parks grand buildings and wide boulevards. Cassatt’s 1878 Loge painted theatrical entertainment. Though united in modernity, the impressionists had political and philosophical views, making it difficult to define the school.