Roses in Art – Impressions of the Masters, Series II

The rose has been revered for millions of years as a symbol of love and beauty and has been an inspiration to poets and painters.  Continuing the series from my post on Feb. 27, 2012 regarding Roses in Art ……

In France before and after the French revolution, artists Francois Boucher and Jean-Honore Fragonard who painted the courtly activities of the French monarchy adopted the Rococo style – finely detailed, bright and colorful brushstrokes as shown in Fragonard’s painting of The Lover Crowned in a rose garden setting bursting with movement and color.  Fragonard studied under Boucher who made a big impression on him and adapted Boucher’s lively style.  

Jean-Honore Fragonard (1732-1806)

When the French monarchy ended with the French Revolution, Fragonard lost his favorite subject of courtly love so he eventually moved to the French countryside.  Fragonard noted for his rococo style with curvaceous shapes and animated figures, painted The Lover Crowned around 1771-1772 with an enchanting garden setting full of an exuberant display of roses.  It was orignally commissioned by Countess du Barry, mistress of Louis XV for the salon en cul-de-four in her house in Louveciennes but was later rejected.

Baroque style of painting though started in Rome soon became an international style.  In Holland there were various painters with varied styles.  One of them is Jan Davidsz de Heem who painted Flower Still Life c. 1665.  This still life of flowers including roses has a baroque style – a swirling brushstrokes of the flowers in its vitality that practically jumps at you when you look at the picture.