Title Page
 Major Concepts of the 18th...
 Despotism in Europe and Baroque...
 Neoclassicism and Romanticism
 The Spirit of Revolution
 Neoclassicism in Literature
 Survey of the Arts of the 18th...
 Concluding Statement
 List of Slides

The Art of the eighteenth century : concepts and artist
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Title: The Art of the eighteenth century : concepts and artist
Physical Description: 31p.
Language: English
Creator: Fraga, Robert
Publisher: College of Architecture, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, FL
Publication Date: nd.
General Note: AFA HP document 386
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Major Concepts of the 18th Century
        Page 5
    Despotism in Europe and Baroque Rationalism
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Neoclassicism and Romanticism
        Page 8
    The Spirit of Revolution
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Neoclassicism in Literature
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Survey of the Arts of the 18th Century
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Concluding Statement
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    List of Slides
        Page 38
        Page 39
Full Text

The Art of the Eighteenth Century:
Connapte and Artist
AE 675 American Architectural History

Robert Fraga




a) Despotism in Europe and Boroque Rationalism

b) Neoclassicism and Romanticism.

c) Spirit of Revolution.

d) Neoclassicism in Literature


a) Painting

b) Sculpture





In writing an essay on a subject such as art, and

specially when dealing with a particular period of time,

one has to be aware of the limitations that such a time

restriction imposes on the essay. I am one to believe that

art is a process that deals with human expression, a con-

tinous process influenced by socio-political, economical and

media development. I believe that art is a reaction to

a reaction, a visual or audible expression of an individual

influenced by his time as well as the time before that.

It is hard to analyce a particular period of art history

without going back to a previous age to study the influences

that contributed to the growth and development of the period

in question. Again, we can go back and study the influences

of teh influence and so forth. The point is that art can

not be studied in a series of selected segments bur rather in

a continuum. However, it would be impossible to deal with

art if every time we were to discuss the subject, we would

do it on an unrestrective way. Every essay then would

have to cover all of the art starting from the particular

period in question and going back to the very beginnings of

art. Thus, we face a conflict between the continuous nature

of art and the necessity to select and restrict our discussion

to a particular subject for the purpose of didactics.

Another problem that arises from doing a chronological

report on the arts, results from the fact that art does

not conform itself to a time table. Traditionally, art

historians have divided the study of art history into periods

of one hundred years, this seemed a good and efficient way

to organize the subject matter, however, we find that in many

occasions, a major development in the arts would occurr

in the middle of a century and continue into the next century.

thus, if we limit our discussion to one particular century,

we are bound to cover only a segment of a particular movement

or style due to our chronological limitations.

I have study the previously mentioned limitations and

I have decided to organize the following essay in such a

way so as to deal with the art of teh eighteenth century

in terms of influences and reactions. In the first part

of this essay, I intent to deal with those concepts which

I feel are of major importance to the development of the

art of the eighteenth century. Later, I will write a

survey of the arts; painting, and sculpture, where I will

cover the main artist of each of these fields along with

their major works.

It is my goal to capture the artistic spirit of the

eighteenth century by composing the major works of art of

this period with the events and situations that influenced



In this section of the essay, I will deal with those

concepts that proved to be of consequence to the art of the

18th century.

It is iMportant to note that the art of the 18th century

either continued, modified or departed from the artistic

ideals of the High Baroque.1 The lack of cohesiveness in

the arts during this period, resulted from social and political

changes which affected the artist as well as the patrons of

the arts.

Social and political changes, such as; the decline of

the aristocracy in Europe and the rise of the bourgeoisie

to economic power as well as the American and French revolu-

tions, accelerated a shift of audiences from an aristocratic few

to a new growing middle class. A middle class which was

wealthy enough to commission and pay for a great deal of

the art which was done during the 18th century. "Not only

did wealth put the menas of patronage in the hands of the

rising bourgeoisie, but education let the middle class

speak more and more in a cultured accent."2 Thus, we find

that a wealthy and educated middle class, inspired by the

ideas of freedom and equality which the American and French

revolutions helped to expound, becomes the main supporter

of the fine arts for most of the 18th century.

A vestigial aristocracy; the upcoming afluence of a

middle class, combined with concepts of freedom, equality

and political revolution, one factor which contributed to

shape the arts of the 18th century. In terms of a historical

perspective, all these ideas and occurrences are hard to

understand due to the fact that in many instances, they

overoped and occurred con-currently with each other. Thus,

it is best to isolate the major concepts of this period and

to study them individually so as to fully understand their

impact on the arts of the time.

Despotism in Europe and Baroque Rationalism

The first important concept that we will deal with is

tha tof despotism in Europe. This concept expressed itself

in the form of Baroque art during most of the 17th century

and later it expressed itself in the form of Rococo art

in the early parts of the 18th century.

Despotism in Europe can be best associated with the

reign of Louis XIV. During the reign of this monarch, most

social institutions, as well as the arts, where sponsored

and closely supervised by an autocratic minority which

dictated at will the destiny of such affairs. The effects

of such control on the art can be best seen in painting and

music where a highly structured system of rules was laid out

by a few artist, (those who had the favor of the ruling

class), and these rules become the guidelines by which to

judge the arts of the time.3 The visual arts gained a new

dimension during this time in that they become a tool by

which to glorify the king and the official royal style.

Along with the autocratic rule, the 17th century and

the early 18th century experienced a change in the scientific

thoughts of the age as well as a new conceptualization of man

and its relationship to God and the universe. This new way

of perceiving man and the universe has been called Baroque

Rationalism and it resulted from the many scientific

discoveries that took place during this period of time.

Baroque Rationalism proposed that there was a "dynamic

universe"5 which could be understood in logical, mathematical

and mechanical ways. It also porposed man's supremacy due

to man's uncanny ability to understand nature and desipher her

upmost kept secret. Baroque Rationalism proposed a universal

governed by mathematical lows which was waiting to be

understood and eventually conquered than intellectual discipline

by men of logic. The ultimate goal of these men would be

to fully comprehend nature and control it for the benefit

of mankind.

The best example of the effects of Baroque Rationalism

can be seen in the pleasure gardens of Versailles where

the landscape is design to herald man's ability to control

and shape nature to his own desire.

Neoclassicism and Romanticism.

We will deal next with the concepts of Neoclassicism

and Romanticism. This concepts are important to the 18th

century in that they served as the boses for much of the

art of this time.

Traditional, the 18th century has been classified by

art historians as a period of Neoclassic Romanticism.

However, these two concepts (Neoclassic vs. Romanticism)

refer to total different idias. Neoclassicism refers to

the revival of classical antiquity where as Romanticism

refers not to a specific style but rather to a state of mind.

The occurrence of Neoclassicism during the 18th century

resulted from an interest in the past aroused by a general need

to establish an order in the social and religious ideas

of the time. The rediscovery of Green art as the original

source of classic style and the archeological excavations

of Pompei and Herculaneum which first revealed the daily life

of the ancients and their art, helped to promote the

development of Neoclassicism. Neoclassicism was supported

by teh aristocracy thus becoming the "royal style".

Romanticism in the 18th century occurred as a reaction

to Baroque Rationalism. Romanticism was expressed as the

worship of emotions. Emotions as an ene to itself. The

declared aim of the Romantic was to "return to nature",

nature the sublime and the picturesque. According to the

Romantic, if man behaved natural, all eveil would disappear

since eveil was an unnatural condition of man.7 Romanticism

advocated the revolt against established values of any kind. At

an extreme, romantic ideas could not be recorded thru works of

art since pure emotion can only be expreienced thru action.

"Therefore, no artist can be a total romantic since art

demands detachment and self-awareness, at best, the artist

"recollects in tranquility" the emotions experienced in

action. This attitude of recollection led to an interest

in the past which was expressed in art in the form of

stylistic revivals.9 Neoclassicism, as an aspect of

Romanticism, became the most important of the revivals,

thus, the term Neoclassic Romanticism developed.

The Spirit of Revolution; the American and the French Revolution

The true importance of the American and the French

revolution lies on the ideology that was developed as a

result of the revolutionary spirit.

The implementation of concepts such as; democracy in

government, equlaity among men and the undeniable rights of

individuals to pursuit a peaceful and happy life,0 helped

to shake the foundation of the old establishment and force

the way for the development of anew system of government as

well as a new way of thinking with regards to the social and

political roles of man.

The American revolution (1775-85) served as an inspira-

tion for the later French revolution (1789-97) In general,

the American revolution was much more successful than the

French revolution since the American managed to gain their

independence from Great Britain, design and establish a new

form of government and maintain a level of political and

economical stability which enable them to establish themselves

as a nation. The French were not quite as lucky as the

American. The French revolution although inspired by the

same principals which guided the American revolution, failed

to establish a permanent government based on such principles.

Instead, the government created as the result of the French

revolution, degnerated into a tyranical alegarchy under the

leadership of Robespierre (1793), the famous French revolu-

tionary who's government has often been called a "rign of


It is important to note that the success of the American

revolution resulted from such factors as the geographical

independence of America from the mother country, the

economical independence of the colonies which allowed them to

withstand a war with England. and the fact that America

was anew country not burden by a long tradition of government

nor a native nobility. However, the French revolution

took place in a country that had a long tradition of govern-

ment, as well as an established nobility. France stood at the

geographical heart of Europe surrounded by warring nations

willing to take advantage of a weak divided government.

Thus we can see that the failures of the French revolution

resulted from an environment that was less than favorable for

the development of a new government which favor such idiols

as freedom, equality and democracy."

Eventhough the success of the American revolution was

greater than that of the French revolution, it was the French

revolution that had an impact on the fabric of the late

eighteenth century. The American revolution took place

in a country which was to far removed from the realties of

Europe for it to disturb the long established traditions

and social stratification of the European continent. America

and its revolution never constituted a threat to the govern-

ment of the European countries. However, the opposite can

be said of the French revolution which took place in a country

that was geographically located in the center of Europe,

thus, the French revolution become an instant threat to

all the monarchs and despots of France's neighboring countries

and the realities of the revolution affected every living

soul in the Continent of Europe.

The impact of the American and the French revolution can

be measured in terms of immediate and long term effects.

The long range effects of the American and the French

revolution are such that along with the Industrial Revolution,

it constitutes the two principal forces which determined

the beginning of what is now known as the modern world.

The immediate effects of the American and the French

revolution on the people of its time, was that of

contributing to a general feeling of insecurity and ambi-

volence as to the value of society in general, "having cost

off the framework of traditional authority which confine
and sustained him before,"2 man was left ot his own, trying

to find the meaning of human existence, searching constantly

for his own identity. No longer would these be the

cohesiveness of the past. Modern civilization would never

again proceed again by readily identifiable periods. Instead,

we have continuity of movements and counter movements.

The impact of the American and the French revolution

on the arts can similarly be measured in terms of immediate

and long range effects. In terms of its long range effects,

it can be said that the American revolution and specially

the French revolution have served as an unending source

of inspiration for painters sculptors and musicians of later

With regard to the immediate impacts of the American

and the French revolution on the art of its time, we can

say that these revolutions serve to bring a new purpose to

art, specially in the visual arts, where art become the

medium by which to expound the concepts of a revolutionary

society. Art become to love "...a manifesto like message

pointingin the direction of political and social action".1

Social philosophers such as Diderot proclaimed that the function

of art was to "make virtue adorable and vise repugnant."

In search of new symbols, the artis of the time turned to

Neoclassicism once again, but this time, the concept of

Neoclassicism took on a whole new different meaning.

Ancient Rome become the ultimate symbol of revolutionary

protest and Neoclassicism become the proper way by which

to expressed the revolutionary spirit. Painters such as

Jeon Jacques David become famous by depicting in his paintings

scenes of classical Rome which were relevant to the social

and political occurrences of the time.15 In many instances,

the audience could readily identify the subjects of the

paintings with individuals or events of contemporary signifi-


The major difference between the Neoclassicism of the

early eighteenth century as opposed to the Neoclassicism

generated by the idiologies of teh American and the French

REvolution consist of a difference in context. The early

Neoclassicism dealt with a frivolous content and it become

the means by which to glorify the ruling class. The Neoclassicism

of the late 18th century become a tool by which to deal with

the social and political issues of the time. Content was

important to teh overall composition of the works of art of

this period.

The effects of the American and the French revolution on

the western world, have greatly influence the direction of

civilization and culture. These two revolutions change

teh course of history by implementing new concepts of govern-

ment, social stratification and personal liberty. The pro-

found effect of the implementation of such concepts can

still be felt in our social and governmental institutions as

well as in our art.


For the most part, the writers of the eighteenth

century come under the influence of Neoclassic ideas as the

result of their great admiration for the literature produced

under the Roman Emperor Augustus. The majority of the eigh-

teenth century writers deliberately followed the form and

content of Ancient Greek and Roman models. It was not

until the end of the eighteenth century that writers began

to break away from these Neo-classical influences and move

into a Romantic period.

Most of the people, and specially teh intellectuals

of the early eighteenth century were pleased with themselves

for they thought that they were living in the best of all

possible worlds. "The complacency of the eighteenth century

was due partially to the works of scientist and philosophers

who really belonged to the previous century. This age

idolized the mathematician philosopher Sir Issac Newton

(1642-1727) whose Mathematical Principals of Natural Philosophy

(1687) provided the framework of a system that seemed

capable of explaining everything in the universe. So great

was Newton's influence that Alexander Pope, one of the

greatest poet of the age, was prompt to write, "God said,
Let Newton be! and all was light'."1 However, it was the

work of other writers and philosophers beside Newton that

truly contributed to the intellectual climate of the age.

Works such as; John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding

(1690), David Hume's, Treatise of Human Nature and Jean

Jacques Rousseau's idias on the "social controls" and the

"noble savage", forged the literary spirit of the eighteenth


It was the work of Newton as well as other scientist

and philosophers that led to a philosophy which conceived the

universe as a smoothly running machine first set in motion

by a vaguely benevalent deity. So long as man understood

the workings of this machine, he could be said to be the

master of it.17 This philosophy become the prevailing force

for much of the literature of the eighteen century.

The literature of the eighteenth century was basically

a public literature, that is to say, a literature written

for the enjoyment of a small and compact society of important

and influential persons. This was a literature that could

be enjoyed in a theater or read out loud in a drawing room

or some other public space. Now, an atmosphere of this kind

encourages comedy, satire in both verser and prose, pleasant

little essays and criticism, but it was bad for poetry.

Shakespeare's sonnets or Keat's odes would have seemed

embarrassing to this society, which did not expect from

literature anything so private or intimately revealing. This

was very much a public literature, not representing the deeply

felt impressions, hopes, or fear of one individual but the

outlooks and values of a limited society.

During the later part of the century the direction of the

literary world changed. Readers were no longer confined to

a small selective class. The new middle class, specially

its women members, took to buying and reading books. Soon

thereafter, the dependence of authors upon patronage from

the aristocracy siezed and the authors began to depend more

and more on the financial gains obtained from a wide ranging

public. The novel, a comparatively new literary form,

gained great popularity. Comedy and fiction become the mot

popular themes of the literature of this time.

The later part of the eighteenth century was marked

by a change in the literary mood of the time. Romanticism,

sparked by social and political events such as; the develop-

ment of the American and the French Revolution, as well as,

the desintegration of old established values, led to a

breakthrough in the content and expression of most literary

works. This breakthrough was most obvious in poetry, for

it is in the poetry of this time that we find poems dealing

more and more with the personal and private experiences of the


The art of the eighteenth century was influenced by the

literature of its time in that literature become the means

by which the society and specially the middle class, become

educated as to the wasy of art and its propoer expressions.

Literature exposed the public to the art of th ancients,

their way of life and their appreciation for the arts.

Sometimes, literary works served to inspire artistic creations

by painters and sculptors. Sometimes a work of art would

inspire a literary composition.

The literature and the art of the eighteenth century

went hand in hand, each one influencing the other and in their

own turns, reactigg to the spirit of the time.


In this section of the essay, I will deal with the

paintings and the sculpture of the 18th century. I have

chosen to give a general introduction to the topic at hand

followed by an outline that briefly discusses the major

artist of the 18th century in their respective fields.


The paintings of the 18th century clearly reflect the

spirit of its time since it is the nature of painting, the

most flexible and independent of the arts, to be of all the

arts the one that reacts more quickly to the influences of its

environment.18 The paintings of the 18th century showed

a great variety of style, content and expression, from the

decorative paintings of its early parts to expressionism and

surrealism of Francisco Goya at the very end of the century.

During this century, painting was used as a medium for

propaganda for the aristocracy as well as a way by which to

expound the needs for social change. The subjects for the

paintings of this century range from the most frivolous

subjects to the most sublime. It has been said that the

art of the 18th century produced some of the best and some

of teh worst art of all time,, painting is no exception.

For purposes of classification, we can divide the 18th

century into three stages, the first stage is that of the

decorative painting of teh early part of the century, followed

by a period of change in content and spirit that was greatly

influence by the upcoming middle class which culminated

in the last stage. that of a military neoclassicism inspired

by the revolutionary spirit of the end of the century.


1. Antoine Watteau (1683-1721)

2. Francois Baucker (1703-1770)

3. Jean Honore Trogonard (1732-1806)

4. J.B.S. Chordin (1699-1779)

5. Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788)

6. William Hogarth (1697-1762)

7. Jean Baptiste Greuge (1725-1805)

8. Jacques Louis David (1748-1825)

9. Francisco Goya (1746-1828)


The first great French painter to come out of the

eighteenth century. He found the bases for his art in the

works of Peter Paul Rubens the Flemish painter.

Deprived from the official recognition and the financial

patronage of the aristocracy, Watteau lived in poverty conscious

of the artificial world of the court of Louis XV. A world

to which he did not belong.

The frivolous entertainment of the aristocratic society

of his time become Watteau's special subject matter. Time

and time again, he portrayed the fashion and manners

established by the Court and the artificial life that resulted

from such absolutism. Eventhough he recorded teh entertain-

ment of a gay society, his painting seemed to be ditached

from the action. His way of showing his separation from this

type of world.

Watteau's paintings show a dynamic life force and a

sensitive orchestration of colors which he learned from studying

Ruben. His greatest painting, The Embarkation for the Island

of Cythera (1718) was directly inspired by Ruben's painting,

the Garden of Love. This painting shows Watteau graceful

handling of color as well as his imaginative settings.

Where as the paintings of Ruben belong to the real world,

Watteau paintings portrait a world of the imagination. His

paintings expressed the best of the Rococo art. The superb

decorative quality of his paintings, serve as a inspiration

for the next generation of painters.


1. Embarkation for the Island of Cytherta

2. Study of Figures

3. Music Party

4. Le Champ Elysees


The favorite painter of Mme. de Pompadour, worked in a

gayer vein than Watteau. His paintings show all the ideals

of femenine charm and all of its artifecialities. Bouder

was also influenced by Ruben but his expression are different

from Ruben in that Bouder expressed love in his painting

not as a strong passion but rather as a sophisticated

flirtation. Voluptious mature womanhood is replaced by a

girlish form.

Bouder was the predecessor of Tragonard and his influence

can be clearly seen in the works of the later painter.


1. Toilet of Venus.

2. Diana Bathing

3. Madam Bergeret

4. Venus Consoling Love


Tragonard was a creation of his time. His art best

exemplifies the hedonistic society of the early eighteenth

century. Unlike Watteau, where paintings capture the cele-

brations of the aristocracy with some degree of detachment,

Tragonard happily expresses the artificial pleasantries

of the privilidge few of a monarchial system. In paintings

such as; The Lover Crowned and The Swing, Tragonard portrayed

cultivated palace grounds, a light that glows among the

trees with a theatrical glow warms and color and the drama

of love, not real but artificial.

Tragonard reached his zenith of popularity during the

early part of the eighteenthe century, but his inability to

adapt to the new spirit of art which grew out of the French

revolution caused him to be rejected by the artistic circles

of teh late 18th century.


1. The Lover Crowned

2. The Swing

3. Bathers

4. Storming of the Citadel

J.B.S. CHARDIN (1699-1779)

Chardin, much like Watteau, was influenced by seventeenth

century Dutch masters. His bourgoeis life knew very little

of teh cosmopoliton sophistication of such painters like

Tragonard. He painted only the most familiar objects;

homely utensils, bunches of vegetable or fruit. Chardin's

realitees where those things which he could touch or smell

and in his paintings he treed to capture the texture of common

things. An honest craftman, Chardin painted slowly and with

scrupulous application. The proper arrangement of balanced

masses and the integration of space and color in a harmonious

design are qualities always present in the work of Chardin.

He is definitely one of the greatest master of pictorial art.


The House of Cords

Still LIfe

Kitchen Still Life.


He is considered primarily for his portraits of the

wealthy classes. He capture with superb taste the elegance

and nobility of the aristocracy. Paintings such as the

Honorable Mrs. Graham and Mrs. Siddons showed his peculiar

skill of setting forth the pride and charm of the woman of the



The Honorable Mrs. Graham.

Mrs. Siddons

Robert Andrew and his Wife.

Mrs. R.B. Sheridan

Blue Boy


The greatest of the English painters of his time. His

art was indicative of the new forces that were developing

in Europe. His painting made a comment on the life and

mannners of the English society. Where Gainsborough portrayed

the beauty of the aristocracy, Hogarth employed a humorous

didactic art to reveal the flows of the English social

system. In paintings such as; the Countess Dressing Room

and the Orgy, Hogarth showed the chaos of the British social

system. His art took the form of criticism and become an

instrument of social reform. This method of using art

was original and unprecedented.


The Countess Dressing Room.

The Orgy. Scene III from Rake's Progress

Marriage Contract Marriage a la Mode

Countess Levee


The painter of "the picture that tells a story". He

expounded on the natural goodness of the rustic life in

detail dramatic paintings like the Village Bride. His

exaggerated sentimentality went beyond Chardins expression

of the domestic life. Greuze paintings showed a conscious

effort to promote the virtues of the rustic and homely life.

The main importance of Greuze works lies on the fact

that his art become popular as the result of teh need of a

society that was tire of the trivialities of a restrictive

social structure.

His technical influences of his painting come from the

works of Dutch and Flemish painters.


The Village Bride

Death Bed

Broken Egg

Twelth Cake


Winner of the Prix de Rome, David ultimately become

the artistic dictator of France. His training in the Romon

Acodemy directed him towords a classical style that was model

after the works of Paussin, the Florentine painter of the

High Renaissonce.

David paintings where hailed by the revolutionary

society of the late eighteenth century as a symbol of the

newly established republic. In his painting The Oath of the

Horatii, David depicts the three sons of Horatious swearing

to take up the arms in the defence of their republic. The

highly expressive style of his paintings dealing with heroic

social qualities were quite removed from the superficial

decorativeness of the painting of the aristocratic art.

David become the official state painter under the Consul-

ship of Napoleon and his style become the dominant mode of

expression of its times.

The exactitude by which David painted gave his composition

a tremendous feeling for sculptural form. The clarity and

content of his paintings were very well accepted by the

military caste that required a symbol of itself dignified

by history and legend.


The Oath of teh Horatii

Mme Hamelin

The Death of Socrates

The Death of Marat

View of the Luxembourg Gardens

Francisco Goya (1746-1828)

A great romantic, Goya's earlier works belong to the

rococo decorative tradition but his individualistic nature

led to an art that would influence the major pectorial

development of the century.

Goya was appointed court painter but this event did

not hamper his artistic development. Goya's work is highly

personal and moralistic in nature, his greatest ability was

that of a suggestion and appealing to the imagination of

the receiver. Late in his life, Goya witnessed the horrors

of teh French invation to Spain and he made it his task to

capture the horrors of this event. In paintings like the

Third of May 1808, Goya described the brutality of the war

and the senseless waste f life of such an event.

Goya has become one of the greatest painters of all

time due to the expressive quality of his paintings and his

ability to convey the fatia of war.


1. The Third of May 1808

2. Why etching

3. Stanuly of Charles the Fourth

4. Saturn Devouring his Son

5. Infanta Maria Josefa

6. The Colossus.

The Sculpture of the 18th Century.

Unlike painting, the sculpture of the 18th century is

not truly representative of its time, and this is due to

the nature of sculpture which is subject to patronage and to

inherent limitation of the media it uses.

The sculpture of the 18th century never fully developed

as a sculpture of its own becuase of the many influences

that limited the sculptors of this time in the creation of

original work. The influences of the baroque sculpture of

Bernini and Borromini were so strong, that the sculptors

of teh 18th century were never able to liberate themselves

from such influences. Thus, their work seen in a historical

perspective seems to be a combination of classical and

baroque sculpture.

Another problem affecting the sculpture of the 18th

century resulted from the very small scale of the work. Unlike

classical times, the sculpture of the 18th century dealt

with small decorative objects that were meant to be appreciated

along with other objects.

Consequently, much of this work has been lost or stolen

during the many political and economical revolutions that

have affected Europe since the 18th century.


1. Jean Baptiste Pigalle (1714-1785)

2. Etienne Talconet (1716-1791)

3. Clodion (Claude Michael) (1738-1814)

4. Jean Antoine Houdon (1741-1828)

5. Antonio Canova (1757-1822)

6. Bertel Thorwaldsen (1770-1844)

Etienne Maurice Talconet. (1716-1791)

This French sculptor was greatly influenced by the

tradition of Bernini. Talconet demonstrated in his sculp-

tures a dazzling vertuosity, emotional unrestrain and pic-

torial reality in images and textures that made him one

oflthe greatest scuptors of his time. He was also influenced

b Puget the great French representative of the Baroque

tradition. Thsu her sculptures showed a brutal physical

anguish and an interpiercing diagonal composition which

associates his works to the Baroque tradition.

Some of Talconet's sculpture become so popular that his

contemporaries demanded small reproductions of these works

in every medium.

Talconet was not very prolific but the range of his work

was extraordinary since he was ablt to handle projects from

diminutive to monumental scale as well as a wide variety

of topics. His lost and greatest commission, a huge statue

of Peter the Great, symbolizes two centuries of sculpture.

In this statue Talconet re-concele elements of Baroque and

Neoclassical sculpture by providing a graphically picturesque

setting and slowing the strenous motion of the horse all

of which was combined with a classicism inspired by an

imperial image that recalls the authority of antiquity.


Equestrion Monument to Peter the Great

Cupid's Worning

Pygmalion and Galatea

Clodion (Claude Michael) 1738-1814

Clodion, a winner of the Gran Prix de Sculptura at

the Royal Academy in Rome, was not an innovative sculptor

but rather he took Baroque sculpture to its ultimate


The subject for his sculpures were typical of the favorite

topics of the time; nymphs, fauns and bacchonts. Clodion's

favorite medium was terra-cotta and in this .medium, he

copture the elegonce and hedonism that was so characteristic

of the 18th century. He worked better at a smaller scale

where his works seemed to come alive.

After the French revolution, Cloidon adopted the Neo-

classical style of Conova. This was mainly due to the pressures

that were excerted on him by the new society.


Nymph and Satyr

Seated Montesqueu

Jean Baptiste Pigalli (1741-1828)

Historically, the work of Pigalli stands at the threshold

of Neoclassicism due to his tendencies towards a strongly

defined contours and relief like arrangements. But the

main importance of Pigalli works lies in his persisting

realism and the power of his characterization.

In the sculpture of his Mercury Pigalli reconciled

Rococo groce with the idealism of Neoclassicism. This statue

shows tremendous realism and anatomical details. He was

also very much in demand for small scale work of decorative

or sentimental nature. He was also in demand as a portraitist.

Patronized by Mme Pompadour and later by the King himself.

Pigalli serve as court sculptor for Louis the XV although he

was not entitled so officially.

The French Revolution brought to destruction most of

his works including the monument of Louis XV in Reims

considered to be his most powerful sculpture.


The Citizen (Monument to Louis XV)



Antonio Conova 1757-1822

Italion sculptor born in Venice, perhaps no artist has

been more exalted in his own age than Canova. During his

time he was considered the supreme arbiter of taste. His

works were subject ot the influences of the time showing

traces of Neoclassicism as well as Romanticism in his

sculptures. His statue of Psyche and Cupid is a prime example

of this conflict that existed in his work. Historically

Conova has been greatly criticize by this compromise that

was inherent in his art.


Cupid and Psyche

Apollo and Morpessa


It is obvious that there are a lot of elements that

contributed to the art of the 18th century which have not

been thoroughly covered in this report. However, the nature

of the topic in hand, makes it difficult to totally analyse

and deal with this subject. At best, I have tried to capture

the spirit of the arts of the 18th century as it was expressed

by the paintings and sculptures of its time. I have given

special emphasis to the socio-political and economical

factors that affected the art of this time since I believe

that by knowing these factors, one can readily understand

the reasons why the arts developed the way they did. Also,

I believe that art needs to be understood in the context

of its time. It is possible to recognize an unfamiliar

work of art an associating it with a particular period of

history by observing the qualities that are expressed by

the work of art itself and associating them with the social

environment of a particular historic time. I sincerely

hope that this report has shown the deep interrelationship

of art and its environment and the necessity to understand

both in the light of a historical perspective.


Art, Music and Ideas.

William Fleming

Holt Rinehart and Winston Inc. @ 1975

Art in the Western World

David M. Robe

J.J. Gardison

Harper and Brothers Publishers @ 1935

A History of Western Art

John Ives Sewell

Henry Holts and Co. @ 1953

Transformation in Late Eighteen Century Art

Robert Rosemblum

Princeton University Press @ 1967

Key Monuments of the History of Art.

H.W. Janson

Prentice Hall Inc. @ 1959

History of Art

H.W. Janson

Prentice Hall Inc. @ 1962


1. See Art Music and Idea by William Flemming pag 279

2. See Art Music and Idea by William Fleming pag 274

"the Bourgeois Influence"

3. Charles Lebrum, the court painter during the time of

Louis XIV commanded such power that for all practical

purposes, he was the dictator of the arts in France.

4. "Baroque invention led to refinements in navigation,

to improvements in the telescope and microscope for

the exploration of distant and minute regions of space,

the barometer for the measurement of air pressure,

the thermometer for the recording of temperature changes

and the arenometer for calculation of the forces of the

wind. Astronomers were preoccupied with the study of

planetary motion..." This quote from Art, Music and

Ideas by William Fleming, pag 268, best exemplifies the

scientific spirit that led to Baroque Rationalism.

5. The concept of a "dynamic universe" proposed by the

Baroque Rationalism was of great significance to the

arts. The idea of a universe in motion circling the

sun influence painters and sculptors to create master-

pieces that expressed this concept of dynamics. The

wirlwind effect of the Baroque art resulted from such

an influence.

6. The word Romanticism derive from the word romances

which refers to tales told in the romance language,

not in latin. The adventures of King Arthur and the

Holy Grail is an example of such a tale.

8. See History of Art by H.W. Janson pag 448

9. The Romantic concept has some inherent contradictions

in that romanticism advocates the revolt against

established values, thus, the revolt against style.

However, remanticism sparked an interest in the post

which resulted in the revival of previous styles.

10. It is important to note that these are not new concepts.

However, the idia of using these concepts to form a

governing structure was indeed a new concept in the

development of world governments.

11. Th new government of France under the direction of

Robespierre suffered from internal strife and total

political and economical unbalance. Not until the

Consulate of Napoleon of 1799 did France manage to

regain some of its rpevious stabelety. However, at

the end of the Napoleonic era, France was once again

ruined politically and economically.

12. See History of Art by H.W. Janson pag 447.

13. The heroism of the music of Ludwig Van Beethoven and

the romanticism of the music of Piotr Ilich Tchaikowsky

are prime example of the effects that the idios

generated by the American and the French revolution had

on these two great composers of a later age. Other

work of art literally inspired by the American and the

French revolution are Eugene Delacroix's painting

"Liberty Leading the People" and Francois Rude's

sculpture "Deporture of the Volunteers", (right stone

of the Arc of Triumph.)

14. Art, Mucis and Ideas William Fleming pag 285

15. Jacques Louis David Oath of the Horatii 1784 and

Lictors Bringing Back to Brutus the Bodies of his Sons


16. Quote from "Adventures in English Literature" pag 270

17. The concept is the essence of Baroque rationalism.

18. Often, sculpture and architecture are faced with the

problem of patronage and the need to satisfy public

aspirations. Architecture specially, being the most

public of the arts. Painting is much more flexible

in that the expence of the canvas, oils and pigments

have allowed through time even the poorest of painters

to pursuit their own style, if not publically at least


List of Slides.

Painting. Audiovisual NO.

Painter; Antonie Watteau (1685-1721)
1) Le Champs Elysses
2) The Embarkation to Cythere
3) The Music Party
Painter; Francois Bouder (1705-1770)
1) Madame Bergered
2) Diana Bathing
3) the Toilet of Venus
4) Venus Consoling Love
Painter; Jean Honore Pragonard ( 1732- 1806)
1) Bathers
2) The Swing
9 A ^?roqp!1ned
4) Love Letter
Painter; J.B. Chardin
1) Bread and Wine
2) Day Meal
3) The Grace
4) The Kitchen Maid

Painter; Thomas Gainborough (1727-1788)
1) The Honorable Mrs. Graham
2) Lady Innes
5) Blue Boy

Painter; William Hogar'th(1697-1762)
1) Marriage Contract
2) Rakes Progress
3) Early in the Morning
Painter; Jean Baptiste Greuze ( 1775-1805)
1) Dead Bed
2) Village Bride
3) Twelth Cake
Painter; Jacques Louis David(1748- 1845)
1) The Oath of the Horatti
2) Socrates Drinking the Hemlock
3) Death of Marat

4) Napoleon at St. Bernard Pass
Painter; Francisco Goya (1746-1848)
1) Flying Kites
2) The Family of Charles the Fourth
3) Infanta Maria Josefa
4) The Colossus
5) Executios on May 1808

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