Eighteenth Century and Pre-Revolution, 1700–1789

Under the reign of Louis XIV (r. 1643–1715), the French court moved to the Palace of Versailles, where the aristocracy was controlled by strict court etiquette. Designers and artisans created an opulent but refined style called Baroque that culturally influenced all of Europe. Under his successor, Louis XV (r. 1715–1774), a more relaxed attitude was apparent, which spread to other areas of Europe. The Rococo style served the aristocracy’s secular desire for a life of luxury, leisure and sensuality. Artists transformed the bombastic and extroverted qualities of the Baroque into the more delicate style of the Rococo, where subjects became more mythological and light-hearted, surfaces glittered and shimmered and excess in all things was fashionable. Artworks by Etienne Aubry, François Boucher, Jean Siméon Chardin, After Jean François de Troy, Joseph Siffred Duplessis, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Nicolas de Largillierre, Jean Etienne Liotard, Jean Marc Nattier, Jean-Baptiste Pater, Hyacinthe Rigaud, Hubert Robert, Claude Joseph Vernet, and Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun are a part of the Nelson-Atkins collection.

doi: 10.37764/78973.8.300