The RococoWhat is the Rococo?• Rococo Painting in France: The Fete Galante and the Art ofLove — The subject matter is frivolous, emphasizing the pursuit ofpleasure, particularly love. Watteau painted celebrations or partiesenjoyed by an elite group in a pastoral or garden setting. Boucher wasnotorious for painting nude goddesses and Fragonard suggests eroticintrigue in his most famous painting.• Rococo Architecture and Landscape Design in CentralEurope and England — Architecture took on a curvilinear styleembodied by Neumann and Tiepolo in Bavaria. Frederick I of Prussiafavored ostentation and extravagance, his son, Frederick the Great,lavished attention on his palace highlighted by gilded stuccodecorations. The English garden has walkways that are serpentine asopposed to the geometrical layout of the French garden.
The PhilosophesWho are the philosophes?• Denis Diderot and the Encyclopedie — The crowningachievement of the philosophes edited by Diderot and Jean le Rondd’Alembert and intended “to change the general way of thinking.”• Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Cost of the SocialContract — Rousseau contributed to the Encyclopedie and believedin the natural goodness of humankind which is corrupted by society andthe growth of civilization.• Voltaire and French Satire — Voltaire championed freedom ofthought, including the freedom to be absolutely pessimistic, a themethat dominates Candide.
• Art Criticism and Theory — Diderot began reviewing the ParisSalons for a private newsletter and the separation of “fine arts” from“liberal arts” commenced.• Discussion Question: What were the ideals of the Philosophes? Werethey generally realized in Rococo culture?
Rococo and Classical MusicWhat are the characteristics of Classical music?• The Symphonic Orchestra — This ensemble was larger thanpreviously and divided into separate sections according to type ofinstruments. The Symphonic Form was developed.• The String Quartets of Joseph Haydn — This ensemble was thefirst of the new Classical genres and featured two violins, a viola, an acello.• Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Classical Complexity —Mozart’s music was generally regarded as overly complicated for apopular audience to absorb such as Symphony No. 40.
• The Popularization of Opera — This form announced the death ofthe Rococo. Opera buffa emerged and Mozart united opera seria withopera buffa.• Discussion Question: How does string quartet music differ from that fora symphonic orchestra? Why is there need for each?
China and Europe: Cross-Cultural ContactHow did China and the West influence one another?• The Arts in the Qing Dynasty — Western conventions wereexpressed as artists created images for export to both the West andJapan though traditional Chinese art was valued.• Celebrating Tradition: The Great Jade Carving — Anenormous piece of jade was discovered near Khotan and the Quianlongemperor realized its propagandistic value. He commissioned thesubject depicting a mythical emperor taming a flood.