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 painting by Vigee-Lebrun. Gazing at the viewer, the young woman gives airs of self-sufficiency and intelligence.
In the Rococo period in Italy, people found it very popular to take “grand tours” of Europe, which meant mainly Italy. This “grand tour” included the cities of Rome, Venice, Naples and eventually Pisa, Milan, Bologna and many others. Wealthy citizens of other European countries often went on the Grand Tour to elevate their own prestige. Artists took advantage of this, painting scenes of the places on tourist’s itineraries. Tourists would then purchase these paintings, which were also known as vedutes, or scenic paintings of Venice. The most famous painter of these vedutes was Antonio Canaletto. Like Vermeer, he used the camera obscura to create ideal perspective. (Kleiner, 744)
1738 and 1748, people’s interest in Roman history and everyday life expanded greatly. Because of this, people started to copy the style of the bygone Romans. I think this influenced Jacques-Louis David to paint myths and stories of old. The Oath of the Horatii (26-25) is an excellent example, as well as the Etruscan Room (26-23) by Robert Adams.
Because so many new ideas and theories about life were given birth at...