The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters

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Jean-Honore Fragonard


Romantic French Rococo  Painter

Stylistically Influenced by the following Painters:Jean-Marc Nattier, Antoine Watteau and François Boucher

TheJean-Honore Fragonard's style reveals a taste for what is light-hearted and elegant. He specialized in dreamy landscapes and portraiture.  His rich, velvety application of paint and skillful depiction of his subjects possess a freshness and liveliness unequaled in the work of any of his contemporaries.  Fragonard lived during a time of political unrest and social upheaval. Europe was torn asunder by the French Revolution and later the Napoleonic Wars.  The old social order  was collapsing under freedom of the press the explosion of knowledge known as, 'The Enlightenment'.  Despite the madness of revolution and war people were becoming curios about modern science, art and philosophy. France, Fragonard birth place, was an enchanting land of green meadows, vineyards, wine, rich cheeses, beautiful architecture, magnificent art and literature.

About the Rocco Movement

'The Art of the Aristocracy'
The word is derived from "rocaille" (pebble), but the term referred in particular to the small stones and shells used to adorn the interiors of grottoes. Such shells or shell forms were the primary motifs in Rococo ornament.
The Rococo style began as a backlash against Baroque formality and stuffiness. Unlike Baroque, Rococo is not concerned with religious matters or dramatic expression. The highly decorative art and design movement began in Paris, France in the early 1700s and is sometimes called the style of Louis XV (15th) . The style is profoundly symbolic of the hedonism of the European upper-classes. Rocco manner is characterized by a revival of mythological themes as well as unrequited, melancholic love among the aristocracy. Sentiment was expressed over reason and emotionalism was expressed over intellect. Paintings are animated and clever, reflecting an impishly sensual daydream.
Rococo Landscape Painting
Rocco artists used their art to represent their love and bond with nature. Their painting techniques generally pastels that do not provide contrast within the painting, but are rather blended and create a delicate composition. The painter’s brush strokes do not create precise lines, but are vague and provide a “softened” perception.

Rococo Portraiture
Rocco paintings feature beautiful aristocrats decked out in velvet, elegant laces and rich golden embroideries. The figures are tall and willowy, stylish and charming. The faces are presented as soft and rosy, effeminate and eternally young. Noblemen are depicted wearing feminine coiffeurs, rouged lips and cheeks, often sporting high heels.The Rocco female figures are delicate and light; the faces, are childish and sentimental. The lines of the mouth curve in soft mischief or in a delicate enchanting smile. 
Characteristic of Rococo art was paintings of carefree aristocrats at play in make-believe settings. These romantic scenes depict luxuriously costumed ladies and gentlemen flirting, picnicking and playing music at gallant country parties.  The background scenery is often a serene natural setting with delicate trees and sprays of roses. Colors are a profusion of soothing, light pastels. The Rococo movement was initially restricted to France, later spreading to all of Europe and above all to England. The movement continued to develop until the arrival of Neoclassicism which attempted to return to the purism of classical antiquity.
Principle Artists of the Rococo Period
Pompeo Batoni Italian,1708-1787
Bernardo Bellotto Italian,1720-1780
Francois Boucher French, 1703-1770
Canaletto Italian, 1697-1768
Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin French, 1699-1779
Jean-Honoré Fragonard French, 1732-1806
Thomas Gainsborough English, 1727-1823
Francisco de Goya Spanish, 1746-1828
Thomas Hudson English,1701-1779
Jean-Marc Nattier French, 1685-1766
Joshua Reynolds English, 1723-1792
Paul Sandby English, 1730-1809
Jean Antoine Watteau French, 1684-1721

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