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by EspenJJQ
Last updated 7 years ago

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Portraits- What's up with those things?

Potraits in the Rococo and Neoclassical Eras exhibit some key similarities and differences. We've chosen a few photos to illustrate our point.

Napoleon Crossing Alps Painting, 1801, by Jacques Louis David (1748-1825). Oil on canvas, 271 x 232cm. (http://quest.eb.com)

'Napoleon on the Throne'. - Painting, c.1806, by Jean-Auguste-Do- minique Ingres (1780-1867). Oil on canvas, 266 x 160cm. Paris, Musee de l'Armee. (quest.eb.com)

Louis XVI, Painting by Joseph-Siffred Duplessis. Versailles, Chateau et Trianons.(http://quest.eb.com)

Louis XVI, King o.France, Painting by Maurice Quentin de La Tour, c.1765. Pastel, 64 x 54cm. Paris, Musee du Louvre. (http://quest.eb.com)

While techniques changed and evolved from Baroque to Rococo and then to Neo-Classic, so did the intent behind portraits. WIth the onset of the Neo-Classic style, the focus shifted to portraying people of importance in a more dramatic way to display their power more obviously. A distinct light source, popular in Neo-Classicism, enhances contrast and makes angles more severe, giving a more imposing feel to the portrait. In Rococo portraits, the use of light softened the painting, and the entire work often had a blended feel. This gives the subject a less imposing look overall. Thus making Neo-Classical much more intense and gripping.

By Espen Swanson, and Jackson Vogt

Rococo Era

Neo-Classical Era


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