R.A.H. (againstathorn) wrote,

Marguerite Gérard and Jean-Honoré Fragonard - A Commedia dell'Arte Scene

Can't a woman have some privacy? Today's "Ball" selection is a joint effort by French painters Marguerite Gérard and Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Hence the title, this scene represents the style of improvised Italian comedy which was widely popular during this period. I filed this work under "Ball" because the woman is obviously preparing for a special occassion--most likely a party of some sort. Let's suspend disbelief to roll that direction.

Modern viewers might feel sensitive about this scene and how it was meant to be received. They would correctly identify that the woman's personal space has been invaded by the two men at either side of the painting--one coming through the door and the other seen back in the shadows. Super creeps! Did the artists intend for viewers to laugh at the buffonishness of the men, or were they to find humour in the woman's uncomfortable predicament? I imagine scholars of commedia dell'arte would be able to advise.

Those questions aside, this work is a great representation of the Rococo style, and I love the artists' use of light throughout the scene. Very beautiful!
Tags: before and after the ball april 2018
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