Art History/18th Century
Spilling over into the beginning of the 18th century were the last remnants of Baroque art. Baroque interior design, in particular, is distinctly ornate and rich in ceiling decor.
Following Baroque art, a similar movement, called Rococo, developed. Initially, it thrived in interior design as Baroque had previously done, but in comparison to interior design done in the Baroque style, the Rococo style could be described as softer and more refined.
The main proponents of Rococo style painting were Antoine Watteau, Francois Boucher, and Jean-Honore Fragonard. Rococo painting has a very distinct style. Light, mint greens and soft pinks and blues were some of the most popularly used colors. In general, the color palette consisted of soft, yet intense, colors. Also, distinct to Rococo painting was the light subject matter; generally paintings in this style depicted the leisure of the upper class. Jean-Honore Fragonard's The Swing exemplifies the Rococo style, as seen in painting.
The Rococo movement came to an end with the onset of the Enlightenment, which ushered in the next major artistic movement-Neoclassicism. As the name suggest, a revival of the influence of classic art from ancient Greece and Rome ensued. In painting, Jaques-Louis David was the leading painter of this style. His works, such as the Oath of the Horatii exemplified Neoclassicism with its logical order and stately, even heroic, subject matter. In architecture, one of the greatest influences was Palladio's Villa Rotunda, a Renaissance building, itself, inspired by classic order and symmetry.
As demonstrated by the shift from Rococo to Neoclassicism, two starkly contrasting art styles, many successive art movements are reactions to previous styles. The very formal, stately Neoclassical style was a direct reaction to that of the previous light and airy Rococo style.