Europe 1300 - 1800

Rococo

A style favored by the aristocracy — particularly in France.

c. 1700 - 1775

Beginner's guide

The sensuality of the Rococo style will soon give way to the seriousness of Neoclassicism on the brink of the French Revolution.

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Vigée Le Brun, <em>Self-Portrait with her Daughter</em>
Vigée Le Brun, Self-Portrait with her Daughter

Artificial? Moi? This genuine portrait of familial affection challenged assumptions about the aristocracy.

Jean-Baptiste Greuze, <em>The Village Bride</em>
Jean-Baptiste Greuze, The Village Bride

Complete with barnyard guests, this rural wedding party embodies the Enlightenment idea of “natural” man.

Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, <em>Self-Portrait</em>
Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, Self-Portrait

She fled France in disguise, but Vigée Le Brun does little to conceal her face—or her sympathy to Marie Antoinette.

Bernard II van Risenburgh, Writing table
Bernard II van Risenburgh, Writing table

With its organic curves and elegant lines, this meticulously crafted table encapsulates Rococo design.

The Tiepolo Family
The Tiepolo Family

Best known for their allegorical ceiling frescoes, this father-son team also produced cinematic prints.

A beginner’s guide to Rococo art
A beginner’s guide to Rococo art

Flush with power and wealth, French aristocrats pursued all pleasures. Then came the Enlightenment—and Revolution.

Antoine Watteau, <em>Pilgrimage to Cythera</em>
Antoine Watteau, Pilgrimage to Cythera

With its fantastical setting and lovers’ dance, this painting introduced a new genre: the “fête galante.”

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, <em>The Progress of Love: The Meeting</em>
Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Progress of Love: The Meeting

In this cycle, Fragonard indulges the viewer’s taste for theatre and pleasure. Subtly is in short supply!

Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun, <em>Madame Perregaux</em>
Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun, Madame Perregaux

Vigée Le Brun’s eye for drama and love of theatrical play bring this aristocratic portrait to life.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, <em>The Swing</em>
Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Swing

What’s that dog yapping about? This mischievous woman throws caution—and her slipper—to the wind.

François Boucher, <em>Madame de Pompadour</em>
François Boucher, Madame de Pompadour

Who is she? Boucher’s intimate portrait of King Louis XV’s mistress is strong on persona, short on personality.

Selected Contributors | Rococo