Water and Moral Rectitude in XVIII Century Painting


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By mid 1700’s water is back with vengeance; and in the late XVIII century its use does not only concern itself with hygiene, but quickly gains the grounds in the social and political discourse: it is not just a bath we need, but moral toughness, and that cannot be accomplished without a degree of discomfort, hence a cold shower, or a swim in a forest creek are recommended. Such discourse is not without a consequence for the late XVIII century art. The choice of pastels, typical for a rococo nude, does not match the physiological reaction of the body exposed to the elements of nature, for the narrowing of blood vessels should give us something very different — a bluish, grayish flesh that we are more likely to find in a Classicist or a Neoclassical painting. So, François Boucher is wrong on two counts, he is both decadent and inaccurate in his observation; and if they could guillotine his paintings, they certainly would.

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About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
This entry was posted in French Revolution, Libertines, Louvre, XVIII Century Erotic Art. Bookmark the permalink.

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