*Rococo Revisited
Watteau, ‘Les Champs Elisées,’ c.1720-1 (c) The Wallace Collection
One of Watteau’s most famous compositions, Les Champs Elisées evokes the spirit of an idealised park landscape. The picture may be read as a progress of love. We move from left to right through child-like innocence, female friendship and conversation between the sexes to the isolation of the observer standing on the right. The sleeping Venus on the dolphin fountain acts as a witty comment on the platonic nature of the foreground scene. This is in direct contrast to the background, where between the trees we glimpse loving couples and boisterous dancers recalling Rubens’s earthy kermesses.

Watteau, ‘Les Champs Elisées,’ c.1720-1 (c) The Wallace Collection

One of Watteau’s most famous compositions, Les Champs Elisées evokes the spirit of an idealised park landscape. The picture may be read as a progress of love. We move from left to right through child-like innocence, female friendship and conversation between the sexes to the isolation of the observer standing on the right. The sleeping Venus on the dolphin fountain acts as a witty comment on the platonic nature of the foreground scene. This is in direct contrast to the background, where between the trees we glimpse loving couples and boisterous dancers recalling Rubens’s earthy kermesses.

#Watteau
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