The Rococo period has often been reduced to stereotypes of the feminine through such gendered visual qualities and attributes. This is an appropriate characterization mainly because Rococo ladies wear was a beautiful and adorning fashion that ladies in the period between the 17th and 16th century loved to wear. The ladies fashion stayed for longer periods compared to the men’s fashion. In other words rococo fashion was more identified with ladies as compared to men.
Rococo fashion began in France during that particular period and it was a fashion that demonstrated romance and elegance especially with the ladies. Everyone in the Europe and in America adopted the fashion because France was the leading fashion house in the world then. Each and every prominent person in the Europe and America had to be seen with the rococo fashion cloths and further more for a man to please a woman by buying her cloths, he had to get the finest rococo garments made from Lyonnais silk. The fashion industry of the time was mainly being influenced by the noble.
Ladies wore what is known as the manteau. This was a gown that was loose also known as a dressing gown. The manner in which the dress was pleated allowed the front part of it to be open and the back was nicely shaped. There were no shaping seams and this created more room for adjustment later own to change the fashion style. The down front part of the dress had edges that were gathered up where as the back part was fixed with a loop to create a circular elegant look that seems like a water fall train.
Neoclassical culture was response against Rococo fashion and culture. It was believed that Rococo was more of shallow and over the top. The new culture was like a movement that changed the way people decorate things. It also changed music, drama theatre, architecture and literature. The culture began immediately after Rococo was gradually being faced out. This was the period between the late 18th century and early 19th century. It lasts until the end of 19th century. According to Joshua Reynolds, neoclassical style was congruous to the ideals and values witnessed during the age of enlightenment. Art was mainly done to emphasize on the idea of morality and reason. This statement by Reynolds reflected the true picture of art in both periods in history. For instance during the neoclassical culture artists were mainly people who think and reason and achieved the canonical status. Art was synthesized with a lot of traditionally new work.
There was a high standard that was set from among the artists. Those who failed to achieve these standards were considered to produce mediocre work that did not find any particular taste among consumers of art. Virtues such as novelty, and self expression were not attributed to the neoclassical art. The main point and idea of neoclassic art was not to make new things from scratch but to have a perfect control over what already existed. Nature cannot be copied too closely and what the artist in the neoclassical period did was to produce excellent pieces of art that could be interpreted just beyond what people saw as imitation of nature. a perfect example to illustrate this is the work by Clodion Satyr crowning a bacchante and Francois, Boucher, Cupid a captive, 1754 oil on canvas.. These pieces of art were mainly borrowed from Rococo artistic style even though they illustrated an expression of the mind. Looking at both paintings, one is only left to provoke the sense of imagination.
Galerie des Glaces (hall of Mirrors) is architecture design by Charles Les Brun in the form of painting. The painting was mainly put in the palace of Louis XIV. This piece of architectural design is also practiced today in several hotel building. It has been modernized as well as Germain Boffrand’s Salon de la Princesse. These two pieces of art have a lot in common. They are both paintings of internal parts of buildings designed for a palace. Germain Boffrand, was known in his time as one of the finest architects in France. He built several hotels and was involved in designing several others including the Hotel de Soubise.
Salon de la princesse dates back in the period of Rococo art and culture. This is also the same period of time when the hall of mirrors was designed and painted. Both art works were displayed in palaces of King Louis XIV and XV respectively. It is clear that these works were more than what meets the eye. The architectural designs did not just include designing the interiors of a building but also having the walls nicely decorated in artistic paintings. The designs of the structures used in the interior decorations were also nicely done including the glasses.
Both these two pieces of art borrow a lot from the artistic style of Rococo period and neoclassical period. This included the paintings on the wall, the architecture designs of both external and interior parts of buildings and also the manner in which the interior objects were sculpted. In contrast however, Salon de la princesse was the first to be painted and it purely uses the stylistic devices of Rococo where as Galerie des Glaces (hall of Mirrors) was painted during the neoclassical period.