Glencoe World History

Chapter 17: Revolution and Enlightenment, 1550–1800

Student Web Activity

"Rococo Art"

Rococo art was an important element of French culture during the ancien regime. The style is highly suggestive of the attitudes and atmosphere in the royal court during the period leading up to the French Revolution. In this activity you will read about four rococo painters and how they experienced the shift from rococo to neoclassicism, and from the ancien regime to the era of the French Revolution.

Destination Title: Ancien Regime Rococo

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Start at the Ancien Regime Rococo Web site.

  • Read the introductory section, taking notes as you go.
  • Click on the links to read about the rococo artists François Boucher and Jean-Honore Fragonard.

After you have read the material, answer the following questions.

Describe rococo art.
What was the major criticism of rococo art following its decline as a popular style? Explain.
When did Boucher fall out of favor? Why?
What is one characteristic of Fragonard's paintings that distinguishes them from those of Boucher?
The art world was never completely isolated from the world of politics. Click on and read about Adelaide Labille-Guiard and Elizabeth Vigée-Lebrun. On a separate sheet of paper, explain how they responded to the politics of their times and how they have been treated by art historians. Think of an example of art or literature that suffered a fate similar to that of the paintings of Vigée-Lebrun. It could be an example of art or literature that fell out of favor because of its statement about politics and society, or art or literature that was originally rejected because of its political or social commentary, but later gained respectability. Describe the example and explain how changing attitudes or conditions caused the change.
World History
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