Rococo to Revolution

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Author: Micheal Levy
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This book takes as its theme the major trends of European painting in the eighteenth century, tracing the exciting evolution - and revolution - that takes place in art form from Watteau's birth to the death of Goya. The result is itself exciting: a stimulating study which encourages appreciation of a century rich in artistic talent yet often unduly despised. Without imposing a pattern, the book makes clear the eighteenth century's basic concern with Nature and art. It sketches the rise of the unlearned Italian rococo style and literal climate which fostered the art of Watteau. The high artifice of Tiepolo and Boucher is appraised, and then the inevitable reaction which set in against their style. Art in a more realistic social environment is illustrated by the work of painters like Hogarth and Chardin; and natural reactions included the emotional pictures of Greuze and the sober art of Stubbs. Concern for truth, allied to the increasing interest in antiquity, resulted in neo-classicism, and David's contribution to the style is acutely analysed. It was not David but his close contemporary, Goya, who best solved the problem of uniting Nature and art. A brilliant chapter places Goya's contribution within a European context, and the epilogue emphasizes that the Romantic art of Gericault and Delacroix was formed in Goya's lifetime. This volume in the World of Art series carries the study of European art on from Germain Bazin's Boroque and Rococo until the nineteenth century where it is taken up by Marcel Brion in his Art of the Romantic Era.       
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