JEAN HONORÉ FRAGONARD (1732-1806)
'The Progress of Love - The Meeting', 1773
(oil on canvas)
Rococo is a term that derives from the French word ‘rocaille’ which means rock-work, referring to a style of interior decoration that swirls with arrangements of curves and scrolls. The style was essentially French but spread throughout Europe.
As Mannerism was a stylistic reaction to Renaissance art, so Rococo was a decorative response to the realism of Baroque. While some authorities consider Rococo to be a refined, elegant, and allegorical style, others judge it as pompous, indulgent and pretentious.
Notable Rococo artists were Watteau, Boucher and Fragonard in France, Tiepolo, Guardi and Canaletto in Italy, and to some extent Hogarth in England.