The Artistic Movement: Rococo Essay

2569 Words May 12th, 2013 11 Pages
“I have just completed a forty-two-day voyage around my room. The fascinating observations I made and the endless pleasures I experienced along the way made me wish to share them with the public… Be so good as to accompany me on my voyage.” Xavier de Maistre

Renee L. Winter
University of Calgary
Word count: 2044

This paper looks at the artistic movement known as Rococo in France after the death of Louis XIV. Artwork by France’s Jean-Antoine Watteau, and Jean-Antoine Fragonard, as well as artwork done by Italian artist Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini, and will be discussed to demonstrate that Rococo and the themes of the pictures represented a form of escapism for the aristocracy in Europe.

According to Pignatti (1988,
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The painting L’Enseigne de Gersaint is an example of this and is described by Schwarz (1971, p. 16) as depicting the interior of a shop, its walls lined with pictures for sale to those who are educated in art. Schwarz claims the interpretation of this work is quite simple.

The young lady in the shining pink satin dress is stepping from the cobbled street into the shop and looks curiously at the packers as she passes them. The elegant and the extremely young cavalier, whose lissome posture would not be out of place in a ballet, holds out his hand in gallant greeting which is directed at the viewer as much as to the lady, with whom the artist evidently intends us to identify. On the right-hand side of the picture we see two groups who are completely preoccupied with objects d’art. First there is the lady in black and her companion who is kneeling in what is virtually a ballet position. They are seen looking at an oval picture which the dealer is holding for them, and using their lorgnettes to examine the technique. Then on the far right, behind the desk, we see Madame Gersaint, who is showing a lacquered mirror. The composition of this painting is reminiscent of a set stage with the paving stones serving as a proscenium and the raised floor of the shop as a stage. The movement of those in the picture is quite natural, although quite controlled. Elegance and an unruffled posture were the magic formula which gave a leisurely and festive air to everyday

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