Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

Modern Grasps On The Swinging Rococo

21st century

Modern Grasps On The Swinging Rococo

fragonard

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Wallace Collection, 1767

Rococo seemed to be a fun period for the aristocracy. They are always depicted at leisure: strolling in the park, sailing on boats, playing cards or musical instruments, or secretly flirting. Fragonard’s painting “The Swing” gives a gist of this era: a pink fluffy lady is swinging on a swing while two elegant gentlemen are watching her and waiting for her skirt to reveal a little bit of flesh…

Well, that’s the story but here we have two modern interpretations of the original:

Frozen


frozen

Who doesn’t love Frozen? Next time you’re watching it with your little cousin, look out for this scene in the movie. At least something to look forward to.

Shonibare’s Installation

shonibare

Yinka Shonibare, MBE, The Swing (after Fragonard), 2001


That’s a more serious re-interpretation which you can see in the Tate in London. Shonibare depicts the lady wearing an African fabric, which is Shonibare’s signature as he uses it a lot in his works, instead of pink lace. This way he refers to the involvement of France in the slave trade. She is also headless which implies the bloody history of the French revolution and the invention of the guillotine. Moreover, he shows the lady without two men, which makes us, the visitors, the new voyeurs, peeping at her and watching her moves.
Shonibare wants us to reflect on the role of Rococo art and its approach to women and history. He seems to be saying: “Take off your pink glasses. Not everything was so ideal as you thought”.

Don’t forget to visit DailyArt, our free mobile app (download it for iOS/Android) where you will find and info about another great Rococo artist – Boucher.


Magda, art historian and Italianist, she writes about art because she cannot make it herself. She loves committed and political artists like Ai Weiwei or the Futurists; like Joseph Beuys she believes that art can change us and we can change the world.

Comments

More in 21st century

  • 21st century

    Ugly Cities Transformed

    By

    Seeing a place, object or person through the eyes of an artist can change our perception of the subject of the artwork. So, if art is such a powerful and emotional medium, can we use art to transform something ‘ugly’ into something more beautiful? Here are...

  • 21st century

    Inflating Art: Special Balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

    By

    The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade holds as much tradition in America as football, turkey and stuffing itself. Over the past 9 decades, it has only grown in size and popularity. People look forward to seeing not only the regular floats and balloons from the Macy’s Thanksgiving...

  • 20th century

    Filmmaking is like Painting – Andrzej Wajda as a Painter

    By

    Ladies and Gentlemen, and now I will speak in Polish… – the famous words Polish director Andrzej Wajda (1926-2016) said while receiving an honorary Oscar in 2000 for a lifetime achievement crowned WAJDA, an exhibition revealing Wajda as a painter. Andrzej Wajda is one of the...

  • 21st century

    Damien Hirst’s Butterflies- from Tea-trays to Mandalas

    By

    Damien Hirst – a prominent Young British Artist (YBAs) and now a billionaire – creates sculptures, paintings and drawings. In all of these forms his work challenges the boundaries between art, science and religion. Mandalas is now open at the White Cube Mason’s Yard, London (20...

  • 21st century

    An Introduction to Lee Ufan

    By

    Lee Ufan is a Korean born international artist, whose work is key to the Mono-ha movement. If you have ever been lucky enough to encounter a Lee Ufan in real life you will appreciate its power to bring calm and refresh your view of an object....

To Top

Just to let you know, DailyArt Magazine’s website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic. Read cookies policy