Author Topic: Rococo: Travel, Pleasure, Madness - Art History Doc (2014)  (Read 1397 times)

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Ironchef

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Rococo: Travel, Pleasure, Madness - Art History Doc (2014)
« on: August 04, 2014, 02:15:46 PM »


Following the grandeur of Baroque, Rococo art is often dismissed as frivolous and unserious, but Waldemar Januszczak disagrees. In this three-part series he re-examines Rococo art and argues that the Rococo was actually the age in which the modern world was born. Picking three key territories of Rococo achievement - travel, pleasure and madness - Waldemar celebrates the finest cultural achievements of the period and examine the drives and underlying meanings that make them so prescient.







Travel


The first episode is about travel in the 18th century and how it impacted greatly on some of the finest art ever made. The world was getting smaller and took on new influences shown in the glorious Bavarian pilgrimage architecture, Canaletto's romantic Venice and the blossoming of exotic designs and tastes all over Europe. The Rococo was art expressing itself in new, exciting ways.

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Pleasure


Waldemar looks at the pursuit of pleasure in the Rococo age, to which a huge amount of cultural energy was devoted. For the first time in history, pleasure and happiness were seen as unalienable human rights that everyone was free to pursue and is reflected so poignantly in the art of Boucher, Watteau, Gainsborough and Tiepolo. In its boundless search for delight it often went too far, but, put crudely, Rococo art stopped tasting like medicine and started tasting like cakes.

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Madness


The final episode focuses on the Rococo's descent into madness. When you spend as much time as the Rococo did having fun and escaping reality, madness soon sets in. The 18th century is seen as the era of frivolity and enjoyment, but in an age of such decadence there was also the brutish satire of Hogarth, the mysterious masked figures of Longhi, the anguish of Messerschmidt and the depths of Goya's macabre genius.

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