Seduction Of Europe – Legion Of Honor Exhibition Review

art, art history, Casanova, exhibition, Legion Of Honor, old masters, paintings, Seduction Of Europe

Roses Under The Sun framed artwork by Irina Sztukowski . Link to the print is HERE

  

Flowers And Music by Irina Sztukowski. Link to the canvas print is HERE
Blue Music by Irina Sztukowski. Link to print is HERE

An interesting combination of objects and subjects came to my mind when exploring a new exhibition Casanova: The Seduction Of Europe that is now presented in Legion Of Honor Museum in San Francisco. I thought about combined beauty of Flowers, Gold, Nude, and Music. The exhibition has many more subjects mix there. 

Per organizers:
In the dynamic world of mid-eighteenth century Europe, people, ideas, and aesthetics crossed national boundaries. For an intelligent, curious, confident, and lucky person like Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798), the possibilities must have seemed endless. Stretching the limits of both social and physical mobility, he traveled from his native Venice to Paris, London, Dresden, and even Russia and the Ottoman Empire. He charmed—and was charmed by—every level of European society, from scoundrels to kings.Casanova went everywhere, knew everyone, and wrote it all down. His twelve-volume autobiography—The Story of My Life—provides an unrivaled account of eighteenth-century society. Casanova was famously a womanizer and a cheat. He broke promises, perpetrated frauds, and skipped out on creditors. Many of his sexual exploits were scandalous and criminal in his own time, and, for different reasons, would be considered reprehensible today. But he was also a multitalented and multilingual intellectual and a keen observer of society, endowed with a surprisingly modern candor and capacity for self-invention. Many of the trends in our own society—from our obsession with celebrity culture to the confessions we make on social media—find precedents in Casanova’s writings and experiences.

I loved exploring the art of 18th Century with its range from hyper realism to an obvious impressionistic approach for boudoir love scenes. 

Here are a few examples of city scapes from the beginning of the century:
Giovanni Antonio Canal, The Grand Canal from Campo San Vio, 1730-35

Bernardo Bellotto, View Of Dresden 1747

a fragment close up view of gorgeous oil painting:
A part of exhibition was devoted to portrait paintings of famous people of that time
Anton Rafael Mengs, Self Portrait 1776

Jean-Marc Nattier, Manon Balletti, 1757





A large part, as the Casanova’s famous name was associated with theater, love, and adventure was devoted to love scenes that were kept in bedrooms for an aesthetics and pleasure:




Jean-Marc Nattier, Talia, Muse Of Comedy 1739:





Jean Baptiste Le Prince, Fear, 1769:

Luis Jean Fransois Lagrenee, Mars And Venus, Allegory Of Peace, 1770:

The artworks of passion and love:
But my favorite of all from this exhibition was Rococo large paintings that depicted scene from ancient Roman literature.

Per Encyclopedia Britannica:
Rococo style, style in interior design, the decorative arts, painting, architecture, and sculpture that originated in Paris in the early 18th century but was soon adopted throughout France and later in other countries, principally Germany and Austria. It is characterized by lightness, elegance, and an exuberant use of curving, natural forms in ornamentation. The word Rococo is derived from the French word rocaille, which denoted the shell-covered rock work that was used to decorate artificial grottoes.

François Boucher (September 29, 1703 – May 30, 1770) was a French painter, a proponent of Rococo taste, known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings on classical themes, decorative allegories representing the arts or pastoral occupations, and intended as a sort of two-dimensional furniture. He also painted several portraits of his illustrious patroness, Madame de Pompadour.

Six Methological paintings by François Boucher, 1769:

  
With its gorgeous details:


I also was pleasantly surprised to find a few artworks painted with watercolors by Muller and Parr at this exhibition. 


 Cheers from 

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