The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters


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Examples of the  Rococo Movement Painting  (click to enlarge)

Major Rococo Painters

Listed Alphabetically

Pompeo Batoni (1708-1787)  Italian, Rococo
Bernardo Bellotto (1720 - 1780) Italian, Rococo
François Boucher (1703 - 1770) French, Rococo
Canaletto (1697 - 1768) Italian, Rococo
Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732 - 1806) French, Rococo
Thomas Gainsborough (1727 - 1788) English, Rococo
Francisco Goya (1746 - 1828) Spanish, Rococo
Thomas Hudson (1701-1779) English, Rococo
Jean-Marc Nattier (1685 - 1766) French, Rococo
Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) English, Rococo
Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684 - 1721) French, Rococo

The Rococo Movement

The Rococo style began as a backlash against Baroque formality and stuffiness. Unlike Baroque painting, 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. Rococo painting are filled with whimsical cherubs, prancing gentlemen in wigs and high heels and coquettish rosy cheeked ladies. The portraits are garishly overdone with rouged cheeks and pouty red lips. The expressions are playful and the eyes glitter with childish delight. Famous English Rocco painter Joshua Reynolds stated "The great use in copying, if it be at all useful, should seem to be in learning to colour; yet even coloring will never be perfectly attained by servilely copying the mould before you. An eye critically nice can only be formed by observing well-colored pictures with attention: and by
close inspection, and minute examination you will discover, at last, the manner of handling, the artifices of contrast, glazing, and other expedients, by which good colorists have raised the value of their
tints, and by which nature has been so happily imitated." 
The Rocco style is generally characterized by charming, enchanting, lighthearted themes of flirting and unrequited, melancholic love among the upper classes. Sentiment was expressed over reason and emotionalism was expressed over intellect. Paintings are animated and clever, reflecting an impishly sensual daydream.

Key Descriptive Words and Phrases associated with the Rococo  Movement -   Late Baroque, tapestry, Charlottenburg Palace, Versailles, 18th century, France, colloquialism, Louis XV's reign, frills, powdered wigs, masks, whimsy, garish makeup, men in high heels, cherubs, elaborate recipes, pre-revolution,  rediscovery of the classical world, Château de Chantilly, melodramatic, decorative,  Age of Discovery, axonometric drawing, curiosity about the natural world,  pastel colors,  romanticized landscapes, courtship themed paintings


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