18th Century Art

Essay by HoughtonCollege, Undergraduate November 2007

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18th Century Art and DesignDuring the 18th century the world made many historical changes that have affected our world in the 21st century. The lifestyle throughout the 1700's has very defined characteristics that influenced the art and design that was produced in these times. Art and design was a prominent factor in the lifestyles of the European's in the 18th century. Wealthy French elite in the palace of Versailles rendered the decorative style of rococo which was popular until the start of the French Revolution when a desire to return to Roman and Greek inspired design led to the truthful era of neoclassicism. By the end of the 1700's and early 1800's the Romantic era had developed which focused on expression and emotion over the intellectual inspired art of the neoclassical era. All of these art styles can still be seen and practiced today as well other styles that have evolved from the initial movements of the rococo, neoclassical and romantic movements.

There is a direct tie between the cultures and societies that were in power during the 18th century and the influence they had on the art movements that took place.

The rococo era can most accurately be described as a wedding cake, light, curvy and full of feminine colors. Compared with the previous Baroque style, which is considered very formal, rococo was considered light hearted and entertaining. This style was created to satisfy the high demands of the noble elite, most commonly found in France and parts of Germany. Many of the wealthy French resided in the Palace of Versailles which is recognized as a place of money along with social and sexual taboo. Rococo design can be seen throughout the monumental Palace and reflects the playful and carefree lifestyle that was lived within the walls. Complex designs...