Rococo in painting. Representatives of the Rococo in painting and their paintings

In the visual arts there are countless directions. Most often, the new style emerges on the basis of already existing, and some time they develop in parallel. For example, Rococo in painting in Western Europe were formed on the basis of the grandiose and the magnificent Baroque.
However, the emergence of a new style as it often happens, at first it was met with critical. Rococo was accused of lack of taste, frivolity and even immorality. However, to deny its contribution to the further development of art impossible.

the Birth of a new direction

In France, the XVII century it became fashionable to decorate parks-style grottoes with stucco decorations, which was a shell with interwoven stems of plants. Over time, this ornamental element became the dominant ornamental motif, although undergoing significant changes.
By the next century it can be difficult to recognize the familiar shell, rather, it resembled a curved curl. So the French word rocaille acquired a broader meaning. Now meant by it, not only the stone or shell, but all artsy and wriggling.

Louis XV inherited the throne in 1715, so the Rococo style in painting is sometimes called by his name. Indeed, the chronological framework of the king's reign and the development of a new stylistic directions are the same. And as France in the early XVIII century was the undisputed trendsetter, Rococo craze soon spread throughout Europe.

style Features

the Art of the Baroque, which originated in Italy in the seventeenth century, was notable primarily for its grandeur. However, a large spread in France it has not received, although some of its features can be traced in the Rococo style. For example, both decorative and rich, the only difference is that rocaille Curling splendor graceful and relaxed, and Baroque-energetic and tense.
Interestingly, the earlier styles initially appeared in architecture and then spread into sculpture, decoration and painting. With Rococo, it was the opposite. This direction is first formed in the interiors of aristocratic boudoirs and drawing rooms. It has influenced the development of applied and decorative art, almost without affecting the architecture of the exteriors.
Rococo in painting – the image of the gallant scenes from the life of the aristocracy. There is no place for the harsh reality, religious motives, glorification of strength and heroism. Depicted on the canvases of romantic courtship with a touch of eroticism in the background of pastoral landscapes. Another characteristic feature of the style – no sense of time flow.

Ideological Foundation of the French Rococo

Hedonism with his pursuit of pleasure as the Supreme good and the meaning of life along with individualism, became the main philosophy of the French aristocracy of the XVIII century, He identified the emotional basis of the Rococo style in painting, expressed in playful grace, cute whims and charming details.

Not coincidentally a favorite allegory of Rococo became the mythical island of kythera – a place where rush seekers of sensual pleasures the pilgrims. This plot of land in the middle of the Aegean sea do exist.
Here, according to Greek mythology, Aphrodite was born. Here we have the cult of the goddess of love, which later was spread throughout Greece. Fans of Aphrodite came to the island to sacrifice in a sanctuary built in her honor.
In the era of Rococo Kiefer symbolized Paradise for lovers who went on an imaginary island to the temple of Venus. There reigned a sophisticated eroticism, eternal holidays and idleness. The Kiefer women young and beautiful and men are exceptionally gallant.

From the Palace to the private living room

the Trend toward intimate interior decoration emerged in the beginning of XVIII century Aristocratic salons and boudoirs of private houses, where the main role was played by women, have become centres for the formation of chivalrous culture and the relevant rules of conduct.
an army of French jewelers, furniture makers, tailors, painters and decorators were willing to satisfy any capricious ordered it. The fashion of the Rococo was primarily dictated by Queen Maria Leszczynski mistress of Louis XV: Countess dubarry and the Marquise de Pompadour.


Wall and ceiling murals and paintings on the Windows and doors were the main types of fine art. Now, besides the Royal court and the ecclesiastical prelates, decorative paintings for their living rooms, the artists ordered the new aristocracy and the representatives of the third estate.

Genres and themes

Despite the new ideas, Rococo style in painting did not completely reject the traditional theme developed in the past. For example, continued to use mythological subjects, but now from the whole of the ancient Pantheon were mostly painted cupids and nymphs, and Venus was more like a Grande Dame, showing the charm of the naked body in a piquant situation.
Over time, pastoral – a new genre of chamber paintings, designed for residential interior. Pastoral paintings in the Rococo style represented an idyllic rural landscapes, against which shepherdesses and shepherds in rich attire play the flute, read, or dance. Despite the innocent classes, the entire atmosphere envelops a light veil of erotica.

pioneer gallant style

the Founder of Rococo painting is considered the Watteau, Jean-Antoine. The artist began with imitation of the Flemish painters, but over time found truly your style, depicting gallant scene. For his paintings characterized by particular artistic depth, not just the image of idle aristocrats, flirting in the lap of nature.
Antoine Watteau wrote two tracks on the popular story of an allegorical journey to the island of lovers. One of them, “Pilgrimage to the island of Kythira”, hangs in the Louvre, and another – in Berlin, in the Charlottenburg Palace. They both represent a striking example of the Rococo style.

Theatricality, typical at all for the art of the eighteenth century, Watteau's works especially noticeable. For example, in composing ("Cowherd" of the “Champs Elysees”). There is always the foreground-a kind of stage area, a group of figures arranged just as in the theater.

multi-Faceted work Bush

of Course, Watteau was not the only artist who worked in a new direction. Francois Boucher-another bright representative of the French Rococo, whose work most fully reflects frankly frivolous hedonism inherent in that era. He carried out the orders of Louis XV, Marquise de Pompadour, in particular painted a famous portrait of a mistress.


Bush Also created scenery for operas, prints to books by Moliere, the cartoons for tapestries, designs for sèvres porcelain, in a word, worked in different areas of fine art.
Antoine Watteau, without knowing it, left a mark on the creativity of the Bush, who in his youth copied his drawings. Later, Bush studied the technique of the Baroque in Rome, became Professor of the French Academy of fine arts, received the all-European fame.
His work covers all topics that are typical of Rococo painting: the mythology, the village fair, allegories, Chinese scenes, scenes of fashionable Parisian life, Pastorals, portraits and landscapes.

Representatives of Rococo in painting

Fragonard Jean honoré, one of the greatest French artists of the XVIII century, created paintings with a playful-erotic motives. Such, for example, “Swing”, “stolen Kiss”, “Two girls”, “bride”, etc.


His paintings, full of sensual bliss, are marked by subtle chiaroscuro effects, easy brushwork, decorative color. The style of Fragonard has changed over time. If the canvas is “Catch” is traced classic style, the portraits painted in the 1760-ies, markedly romantic effect.
Another prominent representative of rocaille Curling painting was Nicolas Lancret, who did much for the spread in Europe of French taste. His paintings are eagerly bought by Catherine II, Frederick II of Prussia, not counting private collectors – fans of the Rococo style.
Paintings by famous artists of the time are represented today in the collections of major museums around the world. Although critics have different opinions of the aesthetics of the Rococo, however, you cannot deny the distinctive originality of this style, having no prototype in history.