This week we move on the to the frivolous and amorous 18th century. Art is now mostly patronised not by the church but by the aristocracy. Their taste dictates ornate, curvilinear and decorative design both in objects and paintings ( 'rocaille' from which the word rococo derives meaning a shell) and subjects which reflect something of their own privileged, but also often dissolute lifestyles.
In France we will look at the intimate work of the painter of the Ancien Regime ( before the revolution) Antoine Watteau and images of Madame Pompadour. In England we will learn something of the manners and morals ( or lack of ) amongst the English landed gentry in the perceptive and witty work of Hogarth and Gainsborough.