Rococo - La vie en ROse (A collection by T. Badulescu)

The wide theme of this gallery is Rococo, an 18th-century artistic movement and style. Narrowing down, the gallery only shows paintings by François Boucher (or remakes of his works), the archetypal painter of the French Rococo, the style that subordinated subject matter to a lacy, frothy sensuality in which bodies, clothes, clouds, waves and forests become not themselves but images of desire, metaphors for titillation. The color this gallery evolves around is the ten-pink nuance, a signature of Boucher's works.

Francois Boucher's Madame de Pompadour painting dating 1758 is of Rococo style. The use of different realistic materials for the dress and extreme details in the floral ornaments is characteristic for this style. A signature of Boucher's work is the use of different shades of blue and pink and the doll-look on the poser's features.
Madame de Pompadour was France’s most important patron of the arts. In this portrait she is depicted surrounded by a garland of flowers supported by three angels. The lower part of the picture shows the symbolic attributes of the arts she supported – painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, writing and music. The artifice of the composition and elegance of Boucher’s creation characterize the features of Rococo design.
Marquise de Pompadour's portrait is a typical rococo work. The pink tones on everything that is around her opposed to the childish look given to her through the soft features and the big eyes show part of an intimate part of her, a part of her persona, rather than her personality which does not match the harshness of the materials around her, the objects that belong to any nobel French woman in that time. Looking really closely we can see that every object she uses, every piece of jewelry and every piece of clothing has strict margins, and even if in a light color like pink, we can definitely see a part of the history behind the painting dating 1750. Objects around her have volume and structure, almost reminding of the quality of an architectural work.
In 1750 Madame de Pompadour acted the title role in a play, staged at Versailles, called The Toilet of Venus. Boucher painted the scene and while this is not a portrait, a flattering allusion may have been intended. Janinet recreated the master of Rococo's work. The bodies of the goddess and her cupids are soft, supple, and blond. The carved and gilded rococo sofa, the silk, velvet, and gold damask drapery, are heavy and elaborate enough for the Victorian era. The soft pink glow is characteristic to the Rococo style.
Venus' association with the sea refers to the Greek myth of her birth from sea foam. The dolphin and white doves in the painting are symbols of the goddess of love, as are the three Cupids and the objects they hold—pink roses, arrows for piercing hearts, and a torch for inflaming passions. These are also characteristics of Rococo style. Both Classical mythology and themes of love were particularly popular among the aristocratic French patrons of Boucher's time.
In this tall decorative panel, Aurora, the goddess of dawn, gazes longingly upon the sleeping mortal Cephalus, with whom she has fallen madly in love. Here, François Boucher used light, pastel colors and the broad, rapid brushstrokes found in his tapestry designs. The sky is blue tinged with pink, and there is a suggestion of dawn awakening as light appears on the horizon. In contrast to Aurora's ethereality, Cephalus and his sleeping dog are bound to the earth; Boucher's choice of colors for these two--greens, reds, browns, and blues--accentuates this fact, and the Rococo style it is worked in.
François Boucher depicted a mythological world of delicate sensuality and indolence. The artist used a pastel palette of blues, pinks, mauves, and peach tones and loose, rapid brushstrokes more characteristic of his tapestry designs than of his finished oil paintings.
This epic work, full of Rococo characteristics is counted as one of the most important works of Boucher. Nude characters are a typical example of Rococo and more precisely Boucher style. The ten and peach tones are again creating an idealized image of the Goddess and all characters surrounding. The silvery tones of the water and the sky create the medium in which the scene takes place.
Rococo style, and especially the one implemented by Francois Boucher, are characterized by the use of tones of ten and pink for any idealized human form, but then tones of gray, silver and blue, cold colors, for anything non-living as for example the clouds in this painting. Also, angels are present in almost any of his paintings, as a sign of purity, as well as the presence of birds such as white pigeons or swans.
Venus lays on a canopy of mother-of-pearl, upholstered with pink and pearl-grey silk, characteristic to Boucher's Rococo style. Gods, dolphins, fabrics, water, clouds together make up a swirling movement which Boucher has painted in cold colours: blue and turquoise. Both composition and colours belong to the Rococo. The sea blends with a greyish-blue sky and the horizon is not easily distinguishable.
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