Monday, February 7, 2011

!00 paintings an artist should know, luxury edition 11

26) The white hat by Jean-Baptiste Greuze 1725-1805
The French painters of this era had a lusty and worldly streak and they made paintings that had a bawdy edge to them. Their swirling and mannerist paintings charm and titillate. Their execution made them high art, but their subject matter made them better for decorating the bedroom. Greuze painted wonderful portraits and genre scenes, but wanted badly to be a historical painter, something for which he evidently had no aptitude. He went from great success to a death in abject poverty, like Rembrandt he squandered a great fortune.

27) The Swing, by Jean-Honore Fragonard 1732-1806
Fragonard was a prolific rococo painter who was greatly influenced by Tiepelo. This is more boudoir art. After great success with the aristocracy his career was ruined by the French revolution as his clientele lost their heads to Dr Guillotines gentle machinery. He died forgotten after trying to reinvent himself as a neoclassicist, the opposite style of the paintings for which he was known and remembered.

28) Portrait of Marie-Louise O"Murphy Francois Boucher 1703-1770
The daughter of an Irish shoemaker who became the mistress of the king. I am gong to avoid telling you how old she was when this was painted, morals and the law were different then. Still it is voluptuous and lovely, and ranks with the best figure painting. Besides being an extremely successful painter Boucher designed tapestries for Gobelins and his work was often reproduced on elegant china. The famous and VERY true quote from Boucher is;

"Nature is too green, and badly lit"


Unknown said...

that first portrait is actually quite lovely, but, just compositionally speaking, placing the bare breast right at the edge of the painting makes no sense. But then, perhaps composition was not the primary concern here.

NPMartin said...

Thank you so so so much for making this series of posts. I'm learning so much!! said...

I always considered The Swing a waste of talent. But perhaps it is important for that reason alone. However, I have met several Italians who are big fans of Rococo boudoir art. Apparently it has it's place.

Deborah Paris said...

Until I actually saw Fragonard's work I was not a fan. The Frick has (had?) a room furnished with period furnishings and his work in them. i was stunned at how well painted they were.

billspaintingmn said...

I do have to chuckle at these. It's just not my can of beer. I'm
sure they were as popular as that
guillotines machinery.

Philip Koch said...

The 18th century painters were good, but I'll take what came before and what came right after any day. Pound for pound baroque art and 19th century art just tends to be more fresh and more soulful.

Stapleton Kearns said...

It had to go somewhere, better than to have left it out,

Stapleton Kearns said...

Good, sweet and pretty, I like them too. They are a long way from today's taste though.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I like the Bouchers a lot. I am less sure of the Fragonard but he has an important niche in art history.

Stapleton Kearns said...

There is a reason he is a master.

Stapleton Kearns said...

The Boucher is particularly appealing.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Oh, I guess so....still I like that Boucher.