30 October 2023
Masterpieces of French Painting of the 18th Century
The fourth of our virtual tours of the Louvre
with Chris Boïcos
Not surprisingly, the Louvre has the greatest collection of French painting in the world, displayed on the upper floors of both the Richelieu and Sully wings of the museum.
The 18th century is the period in which French painting attains its distinctive aura with the birth of the Rococo style: Sensuous, feminine, light-hearted and immoral, this is a style created uniquely for the pleasure and delight of a wealthy and aristocratic audience. The style originates in the painting of Antoine Watteau and comes to a culmination in the art of François Boucher and Honoré Fragonard in the mid- 18th century. The Realist and Neoclassical styles, which came to prominence in the 1770s, reacted against what they considered to be the frivolities and artifices of the Rococo, by re-introducing into art, on the one hand, humble contemporary characters and settings (Jean-Baptiste Greuze) and on the other, elevated classical Greek and Roman figures (Vien, David).
In our tour we will focus on the iconic masterpieces of the age beginning with Watteau’s Pilgrimage to the isle of Cythera and ending with David’s Belisarius Begging for Alms.
You will receive the Zoom meeting details as soon as you register for the chosen lecture(s)