A Day’s Outing
Federico Andreotti (1847-1930)
So there I was, happily going about my business, righteously proclaiming how the Rococo was maligned and put-down and never taken seriously, feeling all crusader-y and pumping my fist in the air for Rococo rights and whatnot when along comes this painting.
Tissot’s faces with Watteu’s fashions?
In the late 1800s?
So there was a Rococo revival. Fine. Good. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this?
I mean it was still purely decorative and not taken seriously, that’s why none of your art history subjects are called Rococo: a style we take seriously now and study and stuff.
But here we have a revival in the 19th century, so what does this mean?
Growth of middle classes. Class mobility. Disposable wealth. Growing merchant classes, development of the idea of using free time for enjoyment, etc, etc. People with new money, leisure time and a sense of fun filling their homes with flippant things of beauty that bring them joy. Just like the aristocracy did, well, before.
The women Tissot painted look like they’d have loved to imagine themselves sitting in a park with a man in a wig and a mandolin.
note: As an avid, rabid and disturbed watcher of Antiques Roadshow I now feel ashamed for not connecting the multitudes of porcelain shepherds and shepherdesses with a larger 19th century Rococo-revival trend. My bad.