Segments in this Video

Rococo Manifesto (02:14)


Looking at the Declaration of Independence, Waldemar Januszczak believes that "the pursuit of happiness" is an idea that came out of the Rococo era.

Love and Happiness (03:20)

The Rococo recognizes love as a powerful emotion, both in a positive and negative manner. Antoine Watteau arrives in Paris in about 1702. He paints dreamy couples with music in gardens.

Embarkation for Cythera (04:27)

Januszczak describes Watteau's most celebrated work and its argued interpretations. The painting depicts pilgrims in the search of love, but is it the beginning or the end?

Without Worry (02:25)

Frederick the Great builds Sanssouci. Januszczak describes the exterior architecture.

Sanssouci (03:21)

Frederick the Great has "Sans, Souci." written between two wine gods on the front of his palace. Januszczak believes the wordplay has an adulterated meaning.

Pleasurable Living (02:44)

Listen to a concerto written by Frederick the Great. Januszczak visits the grand rooms inside Sansoucci and describes their historic relevance.

O-Morphi (02:11)

Januszczak describes Casanova's fictitious encounter with Louise O'Murphy. In reality, O'Murphy is a mistress of King Louis XV and is painted by Francois Boucher.

Rococo Manga (03:52)

Francois Boucher is King Louis XV's official painter, and is regarded as the standard in Rococo painting. Around 1745, Boucher is accused of prostituting his own wife in painting her in the same pose as Louise O'Murphy. Januszczak believes that the Rococo age invented the modern world.

Madame de Pompadour (03:43)

Pompadour spends a significant amount of the nation's money in a Sevres porcelain factory. Januszczak describes her first encounter with Louis XV.

Beauty and Brains (02:32)

Pompadour is in the pursuit of power, and understands how her image can be influenced by art. Her favorite portraitist is Boucher.

Charitable Organizations (02:19)

Januszczak visits Scuola Grande Dei Carmini. He describes the scapulars that were made there.

Ticket to Heaven (03:18)

Januszczak describes the scapular ceiling in Scuola Grande Dei Carmini. The scene is depicted of Cambridge, where the Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Simon Stock on July 16, 1251.

Tiepolo's Religious Vision (01:35)

Januszczak explains that Baroque seeks to awe the viewer toward religion. Rococo on the other hand attempts to enchant or seduce the viewer.

Gainsborough's Women (04:31)

Januszczak explains that Rococo became an unstoppable force, and not even Britain could resist it. Look at the work of Thomas Gainsborough, who preferred movement in his portraits.

Little Innocence (05:11)

During the Rococo era, perspectives on childhood change. People begin to see it as something that should be protected and enjoyed. Look at paintings of Gainsborough's daughters and learn about their thorny futures.

Queen's Hamlet (02:11)

Take a look at the fantasy village built for Marie Antoinette between 1783 and 1787. Januszczak explains that servants would wash cows so that Antoinette could milk them.

Country Cottage (02:13)

Marie Antoinette's village is criticized for being frivolous and a waste of money. Januszczak points out that Antoinette's pursuit is familiar. Many today have country homes or fantasy escapes.

Games and Play (02:44)

"School" comes from the ancient Greek word for leisure or play. Make believe pops up in the Rococo playtime and art. Jean Honore Fragonard paints images of the game of hot cockles.

Losing its Moral Bearings (02:07)

Januszczak explains the subtle sexuality in Fragonard's "The Swing." He thinks that Rococo art is deceitfully suggestive.

Wax Modeling (02:40)

Madame Tussaud is taught wax modeling as a young girl. In 1780 she becomes art tutor at Versailles for Louis XVI's sister. During the French Revolution, she makes death masks of the beheaded.

Credits: Understanding Art: Rococo—Part 2 (00:25)

Credits: Understanding Art: Rococo—Part 2

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Understanding Art: Rococo—Part 2

Part of the Series : Understanding Art: Rococo
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



In part 2 of this film, learn about the Rococo era and its devotion to the pursuit of pleasure. During this era, art was freed of its religious and societal obligations and encouraged to pursue beauty alone. Learn about its influence in architecture, fashion, furniture, porcelain, sculpture and painting. Look at the works of Gainsborough, Boucher, Watteau, and gain in-depth knowledge of the subtle and not-so-subtle messages they are communicating. From child rearing to weekend get-aways, the Rococo era saw changes in cultural ideals that are still part of the zeitgeist today.

Length: 61 minutes

Item#: BVL111609

ISBN: 978-1-68272-625-9

Copyright date: ©2010

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.