Fragonards Playful Paintings Visual games in Rococo art
written by Jennifer D. Milam
Manchester University Press | ISBN 9780719075162
Hardback – 208 pages
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Fragonard's playful paintings is the first critical analysis of the function of play as an artistic concept and visual experience in Rococo art. The art of Jean-Honore Fragonard embodies the pervasive culture of play in eighteenth-century France. His interactive paintings and drawings invite beholders to engage in a visual game of interpretation through subject, form and theme. This book not only examines Fragonard's art through close analyses of individual works, but also considers the role of the viewer within a variety of contexts related to social behaviour, philosophy, literature and aesthetics. More than any other artist from the period, Fragonard produced images of play that evidence the ludic impulses of ancien-regime thought and expose the underlying significance of eighteenth-century frivolity. Focused on bringing students and specialists closer to works of art, the book addresses what we see in order to understand better how paintings about play can stimulate playful ideas through dynamic exchanges between artist, image and beholder.