Rococo vs. Neoclassical Art

Topics: Rococo, Neoclassicism, History of painting Pages: 2 (696 words) Published: March 4, 2007
Even though the Enlightenment dominated the eighteenth century two very important cultural trends were able to emerge into the world of arts. These were the Rococo style, followed by the Neoclassical style. Although both completely different from each other, both helped to clear the path toward the modern world of art we have today. The differences of the two can be expressed through the origin of creation, stylistic paintings, and architectural developments.

"The Rococo style arose in France in the waning years of the Sun King's reign and was created for the French elite (Kleiner). Overtime it spread to most of Europe, but its acceptance was tied to religion and class. The only group to not recognize the Rococo was the English, primarily due to its erotic and sexual themes which offended the Protestant middle class.

Expressed in the Rococo paintings was a style originating from decorative arts. These painters used delicate colors and curving forms, decorating their canvases with cherubs and myths of love. Portraiture was also popular among Rococo painters. Their landscapes were pastoral and often depicted the leisurely outings of aristocratic couples. The Rococo always focused on small, gentle movements, usually involving love of one variety or another whether erotic, romantic, or sentimental. There was always a lack of interest in most serious moral, philosophical, political and social issues, and never any real suffering or tragedy. The Rococo paintings were always outlined by quick and delicate brushwork that showed detail of the subject portrayed in scenes of leisure or pleasure.

Through the art of architecture the Rococo style was able to use a major design element known as "rocaille", which is the term used to describe fanciful stucco ornaments that are designed to make solid surfaces look more like an illusion. Mirrors and chandeliers were used to create fairytale settings that sparkled. Architects in the Rococo period usually gave the design an...
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