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Fascinating European Art: The Musée Du Louvre Museum In Paris (Essay Sample)


European Art

European Art Name Course Lecturer The Musée du Louvre museum in Paris is home to the second version of the Embarkation for Cythera, a famous oil painting done in 1717 by Jean Antoine Watteau, a famous Rococo artist (Wine & Wambrechies, 2014). The first presentation of this version was at the Fine Arts Academy in Paris. The first version is at the Stadel Institute in Frankfurt while the third version is in Schloss Charlottenburg in Berlin and was originally painted for Jean de Julliene then obtained by King Frederick II of Russia (Grasselli, Rosenberg, Darmantier & Watteau, 1984). The painting depicts a féte Galante which is a celebration of love enjoyed by the high society of France during the Régence (Zaczek, 2006). The Régence is seen as a period of peace and freedom after the death of Louis XIV whose reign was oppressively solemn (Janson &Anthony, 2004). Watteau’s painting defines a celebration of love as many cupids fly around the couples bringing them closer as well as the presence of the statue of Venus who was believed by the Greek to be the goddess of sexual love (D’Harcourt, 2004). Watteau draws his inspiration of the painting from his love of theatrical arts, ballet and the beautiful geographic features of Cythera which is a beautiful mountainous island (Ireland, 1975). Cythera is believed to be the place where Venus was born (Lauterbach, 2008). The theme of the Cythera painting brings out a mood filled with peace and happiness. The illusion brought out is that there is no pain, confusion sadness or broken hearts in this island (Mollet, 2007). In the painting’s foreground, there are three pairs of lovers. The couple at the right side of the painting engages in a romantic rendezvous while the second couple follows the third down the hill while the woman in the third couple affectionately looks at the goddess’s grove (Perl, 2008). The painting seems to describe the end of the Pilgrimage to Cythera. However, some critics disagree arguing that the boat is setting off to Cythera (Posner, 1984). The light, airy brushstrokes, the light clouds and the lax leaves in the painting bring out a romantic- like atmosphere not clearly defining the season or time (Rogers, 2007). The bright palette emulates that of the Venetian paintings of the 16th century (Sherriff, 2006). These paintings used vibrant colors emphasizing on patterns and textures while actively considering the effects of light (Cowart, 2001). The neutral palette is complemented by the expensive clothing worn by the lovers (Stranahan, 1918). The bright colors of the three first couples' clothing capture the attention of the viewer ensuring less attention is focused on the other couples as they lay in the shadows (Zeri, 2000). References Cowart, G. (2001). Watteau’s Pilgrimage to Cythera and the Subversive Utopia of the Opera Ballet. The Art Bulletin, 83(3), 461-478. D’Harcourt, C. (2004). Masterpi...
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