Art Timeline  
  1 c. 15000 - 5000 BC Prehistoric Art
  2 5000 BC - 5ОО BC The Art of the Ancient Kingdoms of Egypt - Aegean Art
  3-4 5ОО вс - 12th century The Art of the Greeks
  5-6 5ОО вс - 12th century Italic Art
  7-8-9 12th century (1100-1199) The Early Christians  Art - Byzantine Art
  10-11 13th century (1200-1299) Gothic Art
  12 14th century (1300-1399) Gothic Art - International Style
  13 15th century (1400-1499) The Early Renaissance
  14 16th century (1500-1599) The High Renaissance
  15-16 16th century (1500-1599) Mannerism
  17-18-19-20 17th century (1600-1699) Baroque
  21-22 18th century (1700-1799) Rococo
  23-24-25-26-27-28-29 19th century(1800–1899) Neoclassical - Romanticism
    19th century (1863-1899) Impressionism Timeline
    19th century (1860-1899) Simbolism
    20th century(1900-1999) ART OF THE 20TH CENTURY
18th century (1700-1799)

Baroque & Rococo
Michelangelo da Caravaggio
Jusepe de Ribera
Orazio Gentileschi
Artemisia Gentileschi
Agostino Carracci
Annibale Carracci
Giovanni Lanfranco

Guido Reni

Pietro da Cortona

Luca Giordano
Sanchez Cotan
Salvator Rosa
Diego Velazquez
Francisco de Zurbaran
Bartolome Esteban Murillo

Carlo Maderno
Gianlorenzo Bernini

Francesco Borromini
Guarino Guarini
Alessandro Algardi
Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi
Filippo Juvarra
Niccolo Salvi

Baldassare Longhena

Pieter Brueghel the Younger
Peter Paul Rubens

Anthony Van Dyck
Jacob Jordaens
Jan Brueghel the Elder
Frans Snyders
Adriaen Brouwer
Gerard Terborch
Pieter de Hooch
Frans Hals
Rembrandt van Rijn
Jan van Goyen
Willem Kalf
David Teniers the Younger
Aelbert Cuyp
Jacob van Ruisdael


Jan Davids de Heem
Jan Steen
Jan Vermeer

Nicolaes Maes
Willem van de Velde the Younger
Jacob van Campen
Pieter Post

Meindert Hobbema
Gabriel Metsu
De La Tour

Louis Le Nain
Jacques Callot
Nicolas Poussin
Philippe de Champaigne
Claude Lorrain
Simon Vouet

Peter Lely
Charles Le Brun

Francois Mansart
Claude Perrault
Louis Le Vau
Jules Hardouin-Mansart
Antoine Coysevox
Pierre Puget
Francois Girardon
Inigo Jones
Christopher Wren
John Vanbrugh
Thomas Archer
Domenico Trezzini
Bartolomeo Rastrelli

Jacques Lemercier
Lucas von Hildebrandt

Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer
Georg Rafael Donner
James Gibbs
Nicholas Hawksmoor
Jean-Antoine Watteau
Nicolas Lancret
Francois Boucher
Jean-Honore Fragonard
Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin
Marie-Louise-Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun
William Hogarth
Allan Ramsay
Thomas Gainsborough
Joshua Reynolds
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Corrado Giaquinto
Bernardo Bellotto (Canaletto)
Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Pompeo Batoni
Francesco Guardi
Christophe-Gabriel Allegrain

Jean Baptiste Greuze
Allan Ramsay
George Stubbs
Nicolas Pineau
Clodion (Claude Michel)
Jean-Baptiste Pigalle

Ange-Jacques Gabriel
Germain Boffrand
Jacques-Germain Soufflot
Etienne-Maurice Falconet
Louis Francois Roubiliac
John Wood the Elder
Johann Fischer von Erlach
Jakob Prandtauer
Balthasar Neumann
Dominikus Zimmermann
Johann Michael Fischer
Georg Rafael Donner
Franz Xavier Messerschmidt
Luigi Vanvitelli
Carlo Fontana
Giacomo Serpotta
Francesco Maria Schiaffino
Jean-Baptiste Oudry

William Kent
Interior Decoration

Widely used in sculpture, wood and stucco now took on an important role in interior decoration. The Rococo style was particularly recognizable where decorative themes were inspired by natural forms. Sinuous flowing lines transformed rocks, birds, and flowers into sheer fantasy. These characteristics clearly distinguish the Rococo style from that of the Baroque, in which ornamental motifs tended to be expressed with greater symmetry. The most refined and elaborate examples of Rococo decoration were to be found in the designs of Francois de Cuvillies (1695-1768). Flemish by birth but French by education. Cuvillies went to Munich in 1725, where he was appointed Court Architect to the Elector of Bavaria. He was a talented designer of large, elegant buildings and his most ambitious work is reflected in his splendid designs for interiors. Both the Amalienburg hunting lodge in the park at Nymphenburg Palace and the lodge near Bruhl Castle illustrate Cuvillies' dazzling, lively interiors, in which he fused to perfection architecture, decoration, and furnishings. His extensive use of stucco and lacquer added to their splendour.

Johann Michael Fischer interior of the Church of the Benedictines at Zwiefalten,
Wurttemberg, 1738-65.

The decoration is by Johann Michael Feichtmayr (c. 1709-72)

Detail of the state apartment (reiche Zimmer) of the Hesidenz in Munich.
Francois de Cuvillies was responsible for the decoration of these rooms in the residence of the Electors,
later Kings, of Bavaria.
He collaborated with other famous artists at Court.



Founded in 1667. La Manufacture des Meubles de la Couronne, known as the Gobelins factory, faithfully reproduced impressive scenes by various well-known painters in the form of large tapestries that glorified the reign of Louis XIV. Charles Le Brun's allegorical subjects celebrated the munificence of Louis XIV depicted as Alexander the Great. Another set of tapestries, the Maisons Royales, showed the splendour of court life against a backdrop of stately architecture and magnificent surroundings. When the production of tapestries resumed at the start of the 18th century, three factories, at Aubusson, Gobelins, and Beauvais, assumed a new role and style. Tapestries were no longer employed to cover vast areas of walls and were often woven to fit into a wooden framework. Moreover, the more subtle and varied colours enabled them to compete with paintings as they depicted decorative and fashionable subjects. Well-known painters designed the cartoons or patterns: Boucher, who was director of Beauvais and, later, Gobelins, designed The Loves of the Gods (1734-37), which were set in highly ornate frames embellished by floral gardens. Charles Coypel designed 28 cartoons illustrating the '"chivalrous" deeds of Don Quixote, featuring historical scenes set in medallions, and elaborate sculptural trompe-l'oeilmotifs. Parrocel designed tapestries commemorating the arrival of The Turkish Ambassador (1734-37); and Desportes contributed the delightfully fantastic (and inaccurate) exoticisms of The New Indies. In his role as head painter at the Spanish court, Francisco Goya (1746-1828) produced an extensive series of tapestry cartoons for El Escorial and for the Prado. The scenes displayed the artists liveliness and verve, and the works evoke the grandeur and spirit of Rococo in Spain.

Charles Le Brun.
Alexander Besieging Babylon, from The History of Alexander, Gobelins,
c. 1661-65. Palace of Versailles.

Charles Coypel, The Ball in Barcelona, one of The Stories of Don Quixote set of tapestries, Gobelins,
Musee du Louvre, Paris

The Striped Horse from The Old Indies Series after cartoon by Albert Eckhout, painter;
and Frans Post, painter
French, Paris,
about 1690 - 1730



Comfort and practicality were given greater consideration in the design and production of furniture during the 18th century; some styles introduced at this time are still recognizable in modern-day furnishings. The repertoire of 18th-century furniture is mainly French in origin, and included the secretaire or writing desk with hidden drawers; the bergere armchair, with a seat cushion and upholstered arms; the marquise, or deep-seated armchair for two; the chaise-longue, or day-bed; the console, either a wall bracket or side table, often with a mirrored back; movable corner cupboards; and the commode, a decorative, chest-of-drawers for the drawing room. A variety of small tables were produced: tea or tray-tables; dressing tables with little drawers, mirrors, and cosmetic pots; and tables specifically designed for gaming, embroidery, or water-colour painting. Many other items of indoor and outdoor furniture were often taken from the design books of architects and decorators. The more elaborate pieces were made by cabinet makers and embellished by gilt-bronze mountings. Jacques Dubois (1694-1763), Francois Oeben (1720-63), Charles Cressent (1685-1768), and Louis Delanois (c.1731-92) were some of the most gifted craftsmen of the Regency period and the reign of Louis XV. During this time, French furniture in particular was famous for its original designs and craftsmanship. The serpentine outlines, cabriole legs, and curved chair backs were enhanced by lavish wrought bronze designs, with exquisite marquetry, mother-of-pearl or tortoiseshell inlay, and plaques of painted porcelain.

Pair of Commodes.
After designs by Francois de Cuvillies, architect; carving possibly by Joachim Dietrich, wood-carver
German, Munich, about 1745

Stamped by Jacques Dubois
French, Paris, about 1755
Oak veneered with panels of Chinese lacquer on a ground of Nezuko wood and painted with vernis Martin

Corner Cupboard
Movement by Jacques Dubois, clockmaker;
clock case by Unknown ebeniste;
possibly after Juste-Aurele Meissonnier, designer
French, Paris, about 1744 - 1752

Rene Dubois, furniture worker; and stamped by Jacques Dubois,
furniture worker
French, Paris, about 1775

David Roentgen, cylinder-top desk, c. 1785.
Commissioned by the king as a gift for Catherine II this desk features straight lines, geometrical marquetry and minimal use of gilt-bronze, all of which denote the Louis XVI style and the first phase of French Neoclassicism.

J. Demoulin, commode, c. 1760. The dimensions and the sinuous curves of
this item are typical of rocaille taste.

The front is lavishly decorated with Oriental, lacquered scenes and
the asymmetrical gilt-bronze ornamentation is fantastical.

Charles Cressent, commode, made c 1730 shortly before the Regency period.
This item of drawing room furniture retains the characteristics of the Late Baroque;
the dragon handles reflect the fashion for chinoiserie while the gilt-bronze mounts
signal the transition to the Rococo style.


Turin and Venice were the main centres of production for fine furniture in Italy. Well-known architects such as Benedetto Alfieri (1699-1767) and Filippo Juvarra worked on furniture designs in Turin, as did the outstanding craftsman Pietro Piffetti (c.1700-77). Famed for his technical skill, elegance, and originality of form, Piffettis taste, acquired in Rome, showed a preference for the extravagant and unusual in the sculpted and wrought ornamentation of fantastic creatures. He also favoured fine marquetry, tortoiseshell, and ivory inlays. Venetian furniture had a distinctive style: in place of ornamentation made from precious woods and bronze, craftsmen in Venice preferred exquisite, delicate carving, very tine gilding, and imitation Chinese lacquer. Less expensive furniture was decorated with stencils (often by typographers like Remondini di Bassano), which were affixed onto imitation lacquer and then coloured. The art of the Venetians became more highly specialized; furniture was produced from treated softwoods, mainly pine, and painted in delicate shades with Arcadian scenes, landscapes, and chinoiserie inspired by the paintings of popular artists, such as Giandomenico Tiepolo (1727-1804). The applied arts in Parma were dominated by the Duke's architect Ennemond-Alexandre Petitot (1727-1801). who introduced a very refined French style at the Bourbon court. In Milan, Giuseppe Maggiolini (1783-1814), whose work was popular throughout Europe, carried out marquetry decoration to his own designs and to those of fine Neoclassical artists such as Andrea Appiani (1754—1817). Florentine taste soon favoured all things Neoclassical; craftsmanship was encouraged by the court, evident during the time of Marie-Louise de Bourbon and Elisa Bonaparte, when the architect Giuseppe Cacialli (1770-1828) redesigned and refurbished rooms in the Pitti Palace in a very elegant style. The Genoese aristocracy adopted Rococo refinement to suit their own tastes, with marble tops, beautifully grained olive wood, and marquetry flowers echoing 17th-century still life paintings.

Workshop of Maggiolini, chest of drawers Typical of Giuseppe Maggiolini's work,
this piece is characterized by straight lines and decorated surfaces,
with Neoclassical motifs depicted in the marquetry.

Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo (1745-1825) armchair, 1775.
The personal touch of Bonzanigo in this version of Louis XVI-style
furniture s evident in the intricate carving of the arms and legs.

The Great Fresco Painters

As sumptuously decorated reception rooms grew in popularity, frescos assumed a dominant role, gradually covering virtually all of the wall spaces, as well as the ceilings. Artists who specialized in painting frescos formed workshops making it common practice for each member to concentrate on a particular skill. While the master of a workshop usually specialized in painting figures; his assistant would concentrate on the painting of trompe loeils or feigned architectural details (inquadratura), which often formed the frames of frescos, while other assistants would specialize in the painting of flowers or still lifes. Some workshops would effectively travel around between spring and autumn, working successively in capital cities throughout Europe. Typical was the well-established team headed by Carlo Innocenzo Carlone (1686-1775), which was in great demand in Italy. The Carlone workshop painted series of frescos in the cathedrals of Asti and Monza, in palaces in Brescia, Bergamo, and Como, as well as in churches and palaces across Austria. Germanv, Poland, and Switzerland. Most notable were the decorations in Augustus Castle in Brtihl, Ludwigsburg Castle, and the Belvedere in Vienna, where the frescos comprised enchanting mythological scenes and allegories celebrating the life of Prince Eugene. Carlones style was very explicitly Rococo, both in his drawing technique, brimming with vivacity, and also in his use of subtle pastel hues, without the strong effects of chiaroscuro. Carlone produced many easel paintings, which were also executed in a similar style; he had considerable influence on Austrian and German painters, who usually sought inspiration from the Venetian masters, as did Carlone himself. Hence, the artistic atmosphere in Italy shared similar traits with that of neighbouring countries, as illustrated by the work of such artists as Johann Michael Rottmayr (1654— 1730) who also worked in Prague; Cosmas Damian Asam (1686-1750). who belonged to a great dynasty of German painters; and Franz Anton Maulpertsch (1724-96). Towering above his contemporaries in artistic stature was Giambattista Tiepolo who was revered for his expressive ingenuity and the virtuosity of his brushwork.


Carlo Innocenzo Carlone

(1686 - 1775)

Carlo Innocenzo Carlone
The glorification of Magrave Carl Wilhelm Friedrich von Ansbach


Johann Michael Rottmayr

(b Laufen, bapt 11 Dec 1654; d Vienna, 25 Oct 1730).

Austrian painter and draughtsman. He is most notable for large-scale religious and secular decorative schemes, and his career heralded the important 18th-century German contribution to late Baroque and Rococo fresco painting. He was probably taught by his mother, who was a painter of wooden sculpture. Between 1675 and 1687–8 he was in Venice as a pupil and assistant of the Munich artist Johann Carl Loth, whose studio attracted many painters from Austria and southern Germany. It is possible that Rottmayr also visited other Italian cities, in particular Bologna and Rome. He returned to Salzburg in the late 1680s a mature painter and immediately received commissions for panels and frescoes. In 1689 he painted mythological scenes for the Karabinierisaal at the Residenz in Salzburg (in situ); in composition and style these are close to high Baroque models, particularly the work of Pietro da Cortona and Peter Paul Rubens. Such models, as well as the example of Loth, and Venetian painting, had an important influence on Rottmayr’s panel paintings of this period, for example the Sacrifice of Iphigenia (c. 1691; Vienna, Belvedere) or St Agnes (1693–5) and St Sebastian (1694; both Passau, Cathedral). In these, the solidity of the figures is emphasized through the use of intense colours. For Rottmayr, however, the rational development of the figures and the composition was less important than the overall effect achieved by the use of colour. Incorrect details of anatomy and perspective found compensation in greater expressiveness, mainly conveyed by gesture and pose. Rottmayr’s images are filled with plastic elements, creating a staccato effect. Several very important early commissions paved the way for Rottmayr’s move to Vienna in the late 1690s. In the allegorical frescoes (1695) at Schloss Frain an der Thaya (now Vranov nad Dyjí, Czech Republic) Rottmayr’s talent for accommodating architecture within decoration is evident. Rottmayr acknowledged the basic architectural design in the division of his scenes, with the central scene (an illusionistic view into the heavens) coinciding with the central cupola, a system based on Pietro da Cortona’s frescoes at the Palazzo Barberini in Rome. In spite of the weight and solidity of the figures, the use of lighter, harmonious colour achieves a transition to immateriality. This corresponds with the allegorical allusions to the virtues of the Althan family, from whom Rottmayr received this commission.

Johann Michael Rottmayr
Allegorie der Astronomie


Cosmas Damian Asam

(b Benediktbeuren, bapt 28 Sept 1686; d Munich, 10 May 1739).

Painter and architect, son of Hans Georg Asam. As a youth, he worked as his father’s assistant, for example at Schloss Schönach (1704) and at the Maria-Hilf-Kirche (1708), Freystadt. After his father’s death in 1711, Cosmas Damian went to Rome, studying at the Accademia di S Luca under Carlo Maratti; he was awarded the academy’s first prize for his brush drawing of the Miracle of St Pius (Rome, Accad. N. S Luca) in 1713. That year he returned to Germany. In 1717 he married Maria Anna, daughter of the engraver Franz Anton Morl (1671–1734); their son, Franz Erasmus Asam (1720–95), produced few works of his own, acting mainly as an assistant to his father. In 1724 Cosmas Damian bought an estate he named Asamisch-Maria-Einsiedel-Thal in Munich-Thalkirchen, even building a chapel of his own there in 1739. Throughout his life Cosmas Damian worked mainly on large commissions, painting and sometimes also acting as architect, sometimes collaborating with his brother Egid Quirin; his work took him to the Upper Palatinate, Upper and Lower Bavaria, Baden and Swabia as well as to the Tyrol, Switzerland, Bohemia and Silesia. Besides church dignitaries, his patrons included the court and the aristocracy. He was given the protection of the Elector’s court in Munich in 1719 and subsequently some minor offices at various other courts. On large-scale commissions he always employed workshop assistants as well as members of his family. His pupils included Thomas Christian Scheffler (1699–1756), Matthaus Günther, Joseph Gregor Winck, Johann Adam Schopf (1702–72) and Johann Adam Muller ( fl 1718–38).

Cosmas Damian Asam
after 1720
Abbey Church, Aldersbach


Franz Anton Maulbertsch

(b Langenargen am Bodensee, 7 June 1724; d Vienna, 7 Aug 1796).

Austrian painter. His work as a painter of both oil paintings and frescoes on religious, mythological and occasionally worldly themes spanned the second half of the 18th century, adapting a Late Baroque training to the onset of Neo-classicism but remaining strikingly individual throughout. His fresco work, mostly still in situ in widespread central European locations, came at the end of an artistic tradition and was for long neglected, being far from major cultural centres; but it is now seen to establish him as one of the leading painters of his century and a colourist comparable to Giambattista Tiepolo.

Franz Anton Maulbertsch
Christ and Godfather
Ceiling fresco
Parish Church, Sümeg

Franz Anton Maulbertsch
Adoration of the Shepherds
Parish Church, Sumeg

Franz Anton Maulbertsch
Parish Church, Sumeg

Franz Anton Maulbertsch
Ceiling decoration
Episcopal Palace, Szombathely


Already an established painter in Venice by the age of 21, Giovanni Battista (Giambattista) Tiepolo (1696-1770) was influenced by Piazzetta, but he soon developed his own artistic style. This was marked by the impressive perspectival views of his compositions, the brilliance of his colour, and the expressiveness of his figures. Tracing the progression of his work from the sketch to the finished fresco, his technique and the large surfaces involved make the execution of his paintings look deceptively easy. Tiepolo's ceilings and wall frescos are unrivalled and demonstrate to perfection the artist's unique imaginative skill, virtuosity in the application of paint, and sensitive approach in his choice of subject matter. Later, Tiepolo also produced superb easel paintings in oils, his portraits being particularly tine. He left a legacy of lively caricatures, drawings, and etchings.


The Prince-Bishop of Wurzburg, the regional capital of Lower Franconia in Germany, commissioned the Bohemian architect Balthasar Neumann (1687-1753) in 1719 to build him a palace in the centre of the city. Johann Zick was initially engaged in 1749 to paint the Banquet of the Gods and the Goddess Diana at Rest in the reception room, but he was later replaced by Giambattista Tiepolo, who was hired for the decoration of the banqueting room (1750-52), for which statues and ornamental stucco had already been commissioned. The theme of the decoration, chosen by two of the court's Jesuit priests, was inspired by a series of historic episodes that had taken place in the medieval city. One of these, chosen by Tiepolo and his sons Giando-menico and Lorenzo to be portrayed on the walls of the banqueting hall, was the marriage of Frederick Barbarossa to Beatrice of Burgundy, while the ceiling was given over to the great illusionistic scene of Apollo driving the bride to meet the emperor in his chariot.
The free and original interpretation of the historical and celebratory theme, and the sumptuous and intense colourist treatment, were greatly admired. Tiepolo was also commissioned to paint the vast ceiling above the grand staircase, where he summed up the concepts and artistic language that he had first used in 1740 when decorating the Palazzo Clerici in Milan and in his frescos for the Palazzo Labia in Venice. The fresco is a mythologically-inspired narrative, which pays tribute to the Prince-Bishop. He is honoured by the gods of Olympus, and Fame, personified by a woman holding his portrait aloft, while allegories of the four continents cluster around, all serving as a device to show greater aerial perspective and depth and the dramatic effects of colour and movement. Tiepolo apparently intended Europe to symbolize the unity of the arts, cleverly incorporating portraits of himself, the architect Neumann, and the sculptor Benigno Bossi.

Frescoes in the Wurzburg Residenz
View of the Imperial Hall
Residenz, Wurzburg

Italian Painting

The inclination towards the High Baroque style was first visible in Italy in the early 18th century in the gradual departure from sombre colours and adoption of a light, airy palette. The paintings of Luca Giordano (1634-1705) in Naples represent a definite, but not complete, step away from the intense sentimentalism of the Neapolitan school and towards a less explicit and more enjoyable art. In Naples. Giordano decorated the inside of the Treasury dome in the charterhouse of St Martin. He travelled frequently, for work or simply for artistic curiosity, to see the output of other artists in Florence, Venice, and Spain.
Gregorio de Ferrari (1647-1726) in Genoa introduced a new and radiant fluency in his work, reinterpreting old themes and subjects from the preceding century with a fresh and original touch. This is evident in the series of frescos executed for the palaces of the Genoese aristocracy, especially in the allegorical paintings for the Palazzo Rosso. In Lombardy, Stefano Maria Legnani, known as Legnanino (1660-1715). moved away from the academic style of the Roman artists, towards the High Baroque, investing his paintings with an expressive sentimentalism that echoed the style of Borromini. Besides numerous altarpieces, Legnanino is known for the luminous frescos in the Palazzo Carignano in Turin, and those in the central nave of Monza Cathedral. Another influential painter was Sebastiano Ricci (1659—1734). responsible for the superb ceiling fresco in Palazzo Colonna, Rome. Like de Ferrari, he gave a freer and more varied interpretation of the style of Correggio in order to keep in line with contemporary stylistic trends. Ricci also made use of his profound knowledge of the techniques used by Venetian colourists during the 16th century, and he was one of the early leading figures in the revival of Venetian decorative painting. His work was much in demand in many cities, both for easel and fresco paintings. While in London and Paris. Ricci was instrumental in the dissemination of the new style.

The Venetian school, which included only artists working in the city itself, was slower in embracing the Rococo style. However, a few decades later, following the rise of Ricci. Tiepolo and a group of painters known as redutisti, a new Venetian style came about. This was characterized by unprecedented force of movement and brilliant colour schemes. Other Italian painters tended to retain strong chiaroscuro contrasts with distant echoes of Caravaggio. The Bolognese painter Giuseppe Maria Crespi (1665-1747) was an artist of renowned originality, drawing his inspiration from the great Venetians -Correggio and Baroccio in particular, and also from the early "Caravaggesque" works of Guercino. His works, often derived from genre subjects and mythologies, are invested with an uncanny naturalism, inspiring such newcomers as Gian Battista Piazzetta.

In their varied interpretations, compositional originality and choice of iconography these painters showed how susceptible they were to the new taste in art. Thus, their ingenuity lies in their fresh response and progressive approach to painting. The Genoese painter Alessandro Magnasco (1667-1749) is considered to have been ahead of his time, given his choice of unusual and provocative subjects, his use of quickly applied brushstrokes, and his sharp, angular forms. In Rome, where academicism survived longest, Pompeo Batoni (1708-87) was one of the first to reintroduce the classical style, which heralded the end of Rococo, from the middle of the century onwards. Tiepolo was eager to learn from the great past masters and from those with whom he worked. He had a genius for composition, an appealing theatricality, and an unshakable conviction that the artist should be able to communicate even the most dramatic-subjects in a beautiful, grandiose manner. After his early successes, which led to the commission for the biblical frescos in the Archbishop's Palace in Udine (1724-25), he was always in demand. He employed the assistance of quadraturisti or Irompe I 'oeil specialists when the commission called for architectural perspectives.

From the mid-18th century onwards, his sons Lorenzo and Giandomenico worked alongside him. Commissions were plentiful for Tiepolo's easel paintings, often of religious subjects, and for frescos, mainly in the ceremonial reception rooms of royal and aristocratic palaces. During the period when the Hapsburgs were consolidating their hold on Venice and Lombardy, the nobility in these regions sought to uphold its prestige by building lavish new palaces. Tiepolo went from Milan (where he painted frescos in the palaces of Casati-Dugnani and the Clerici) to Venice to execute the History of Anthony and Cleopatra in the Palazzo Labia with architectural perspectives by the virtuoso Bolognese quadraturista Gerolamo Mengozzi-Colonna. From there Tiepolo moved to the Palace of Wurzburg, then on to Madrid to paint the Glory of Spain fresco on the ceiling in the throne room of the royal palace. Tiepolo's prolific output spans almost the entire course of the century. By the time of his death in Spain in 1770. new trends, such as Neoclassicism together with the first stirrings of Romanticism, had started to push his work out of fashion.
It was at about this time that a young admirer of Tiepolo was establishing himself - Francisco Gova.

Gregorio de Ferrari


Gregorio de Ferrari
Hercules and Antaeus
Oil on canvas, 217 x 147,5 cm
Palazzo Cattaneo, Genoa

Gregorio de Ferrari

Gregorio de Ferrari
Junon et Argus

Stefano Maria Legnani, known as Legnanino


La Maddalena

Penitent saint praying


Apparizione miracolosa ad Agostino della Sacra Fascia



A former pupil of the Bolognese painter Crespi, Gian Battista Piazzetta (1683-1754) set up his own very successful workshop in Venice in 1711. A respected teacher, he later founded a school that formed the basis of the Accademia. His religious paintings, although under-pinned by the virtuoso technique of the Romano-Emilian Baroque schools, have a warmth of gesture and chromatic elegance that give them a distinctive immediacy of feeling and sculptural form. In his oil paintings of half-length portraits, figures, and genre scenes, Piazzetta creates a world that seems to evolve spontaneously, full of grace and sensuality, charm and lively elegance. The artist is also known for his illustrations of popular books.

Gian Battista Piazzetta
The Fortune Teller

Gian Battista Piazzetta
Rebecca at the Well
c. 1740
Oil on canvas, 102 x 137 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan


Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757), a hugely successful interpreter of Venetian Rococo, displayed an unequalled ability to capture the delicacy of her era. The exquisite refinement of her portraiture epitomized the ideals of fashionable society, and her spontaneity and grace earned her countless commissions from members of the European elite. Camera's predilection for pastels was shared by La Tour, Largilliere, Nattier, and, later, by Mengs and the Swiss painter Liotard, all of whom successfully exploited the "splendour, fragility, and transparency" that breathed new life into portraiture. According to the Encyclopedie (the French encyclopedia published under the direction of Diderot), this was unique to the medium. In portrait paintings, sitters no longer adopted solemn and ceremonial poses; instead, they sought to convey a certain cultural distinction, a personal.
Pietro Longhi (1702-85) painted some lively and somewhat superficially light-hearted compositions, along the line of the Dutch genre, depicting Venetian domesticity and the often comic activities of high society. His good-humoured pictures are known for their luminosity, the use of delicate hues, and the thin and well-blended application of paint. Although reminiscent of Carriera's work, the paintings share certain features with contemporary English pieces.

Jean-Etienne Liotard
La Belle Chocolatiere



Despite recent re-evaluation and research. Alessandro Magnasco (1667—1749) remains a largely enigmatic figure. Seeking to appeal to a market that was highly cultured and sophisticated, he combined a very expressive and bold narrative style, using violent, rapid brushstrokes revealing flecks of white paint, to illustrate nonconformist themes that can be linked to the literature of the time. Magnasco was born in Genoa but moved to Milan when young, where he was swayed by the strong moralistic inclinations of the late 17th-century Lombard school and its leanings towards Realism. As a result, he rejected superficial subjects that delighted rather than instructed and in keeping with the philosophy of Realism, abandoned the "grand manner" of painting. He preferred to paint "minor" subjects, featuring characters castigated by society, such as paupers, gypsies, rogues, and vagabonds. His use of sharp, angular lines is known to have influenced later painters. Some of the most unusual subjects depicted in Magnasco's paintings are the poor and humble figures of the Trappist orders and Capuchin friars: stranger still are his scenes of witchcraft. He completed many versions of paintings of Quaker meetings, and of Jewish worshippers in synagogues. These themes reflect the artist's long-standing interest in spiritualism, and his participation in lively, albeit clandestine, debates about the nature of religion that were popular among free thinkers at the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment.

Alessandro Magnasco
Refectory of Franciscan Friary
Museo Biblioteca e Archivio Civico, Bassano del Grappa, Italy

Townscapes: The Venetian School

While large-scale paintings in the "grand manner" were still popular in the 18th century, less spectacular works, much more modest in size and subject, were also sought after for personal enjoyment.
Views (vedutas), usually of townscapes, accounted for a large share of this market, and were bought as souvenirs of the Grand Tour. The great European cities were gradually adopted as suitable subjects for paintings, usually in the form of panoramic views or close-ups of sites noted for their monuments or beauty. In every large city, workshops specializing in these townscapes proliferated. Venice produced some superb painters of this genre, following earlier examples by Marco Ricci (1676-1729) and Luca Carlevaris (1667-1730) who both attempted to apply what they had learned from the Roman school and the Dutch landscape masters. Venetian townscape painting (vedutismo) developed its own style and manner, distinct from the landscape painting of other regions.
The most notable examples were by Canaletto (1697-1768), Bernardo Bellotto (1721-80), and Francesco Guardi (1712-93). Having initially worked as a scene painter with his father, Canaletto then furthered his artistic education in Rome. He returned to Venice in about 1720 and started to produce accurate portrayals of his native city from real life, although he later painted from drawings. His highly original method of working, the meticulous attention to detail, the descriptive accuracy of his figures, and his breadth and range of perspective make his work all the more appealing. For composition and accuracy. Canaletto used a camera obscura, (an apparatus with which images are projected onto a flat surface by a convex lens in an aperture) to help him capture wide-angle views on canvas. Resorting to such technical aids in no way compromised the artist's skill at handling light, or the immediacy of his figures, which were brought to life by a few brushstrokes. Canaletto painted a very wide range of views, often repeating a subject but always varying his treatment of it. His style, therefore, is easily identifiable despite the fact that many others worked with similar subjects. The artist's work met with immediate success, the English elite proving to be the most enthusiastic-patrons. Canaletto moved to England in 1746 and. for the next ten years, painted numerous landscapes, townscapes, and views of country houses. During this time, a change in his range of colour became noticeable. Canaletto's nephew. Bernardo Bellotto, also a painter, emulated his themes and treatment of perspective, but used a colder, darker palette and gave his scenes a more polished, lively quality. After painting many Italian townscapes and landscapes (among them his famous view of Gazzada near Varese), Bellotto left Italy and went to Dresden in 1747, and also visited various cities in central Europe. He painted some very fine and meticulously accurate views of Warsaw. The Venetian artist Francesco Guardi, one of a large family of painters, also specialized in townscapes and returned to some of the subjects and settings first painted by Canaletto. He interpreted them in a very different way. working with extremely light and rapid brushstrokes and producing scenes crowded with figures, some just barely sketched. His works stand apart for their dynamism and vitality and. on occasion, they evoked a haunting melancholy. Although best known for his view painting, Guardi later created imaginary scenes, or capricci. that sought to convey emotion and atmosphere rather than document real life. Of all the townscape painters. Guardi is most closely identified with the spirit of the Rococo. As the style gradually gave way to Neoclassicism, however, Guardi evolved as a painter and his work went on to inspire many of the more introspective 19th-century artists, who preferred to express their own. personal emotions and anisic outlooks, rather than to be content with strictly descriptive and objective painting.

Marco Ricci

(b Belluno, 5 June 1676; d 21 Jan 1730).

Painter, printmaker and stage designer, nephew of Sebastiano Ricci. He probably began his career in Venice in the late 1690s as his uncle’s pupil, concentrating on history paintings (untraced). Having murdered a gondolier in a tavern brawl, he fled to Split in Dalmatia, where he remained for four years and was apprenticed to a landscape painter (Temanza, 1738). Once back in Venice (c. 1700) he put this training to use in painting theatrical scenery. Little is known about his early development, and it remains difficult to establish a chronology for his work. A group of restless, romantic landscapes (examples, Leeds, Temple Newsam House; Padua, Mus. Civ.), painted with lively, free strokes and formerly thought to represent his early period, have now been convincingly attributed (Moretti) to Antonio Marini (1668–1725). His earliest dated works, a tempera painting, View with Classical Ruins (1702), and a Landscape with Fishermen (1703; ex-Kupferstichkab., Berlin; untraced), are serene and classical, close in style to tempera paintings generally dated 1710–30. This suggests that Ricci’s style did not develop much, and that strong classicizing tendencies, indebted to Nicolas Poussin, were present from the start. The Landscape with Fishermen derives from the Venetian tradition of Titian and Domenico Campagnola and suggests that a group of other drawings—panoramic views in pen and brown ink, executed with tight hatching—may be dated early. The work of Pieter Mulier (c. 1637–1701), whom Ricci probably knew, was another formative influence, as can be seen in two stormy landscape paintings (Warsaw, N. Mus.) that echo Mulier’s style. The work of Salvator Rosa, Joseph Heintz II and Johann Eisman (1604–98) encouraged the more romantic aspect of his art.

Marco Ricci
Landscape with River and Figures
c. 1720
Oil on canvas, 136 x 197 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Marco Ricci
Landscape with Watering Horses
c. 1720
Oil on canvas, 136 x 198 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Marco Ricci
Landscape with Washerwomen
c. 1720
Oil on canvas, 136 x 198 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Marco Ricci
Coastal View with Tower
Oil on canvas, 106,7 x 148,6 cm
Private collection

Luca Carlevaris

(b Udine, 20 Jan 1663; d Venice, 12 Feb 1730).

Italian painter, engraver and architect. ‘The first of any note who painted views of Venice’ was how he was described in 1789 by John Strange (sale catalogue, London, 10 Dec), the British Resident in Venice from 1773. Although Carlevaris was more than simply a view painter, much of his work was certainly in the genre later made popular by Canaletto and Francesco Guardi. Carlevaris’s artistic inclinations were probably inherited from his father, a painter and designer who died when his son was very young. In 1679 Carlevaris moved to Venice and was discovered by the Zenobio family, whose palace was near where he lived. He is said to have made a trip to Rome, from which he returned to Venice in 1698, and while there must have become aware of view paintings and capricci by artists such as Gaspar van Wittel (Vanvitelli). On his return he established himself by painting similar works (e.g. Seaport and Piazzetta; both Udine, Mus. Civ.). In 1703 he published Le fabriche e vedute di Venezia disegnate poste in prospettiva et intagliate da Luca Carlevaris: 104 views of Venice. It was the most complete survey of the fabric of the city ever produced and served as a model for Venetian view painters throughout the 18th century.

Luca Carlevaris
Oil on canvas, 147,5 x 179 cm
Private collection

Luca Carlevaris
The Sea Custom House with San Giorgio Maggiore
Oil on canvas, 50 x 96 cm
Private collection

Luca Carlevaris
The Reception of Cardinal Cesar d'Estrees
Oil on canvas, 130 x 260 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Luca Carlevaris
The Wharf, Looking toward the Doge's Palace
Oil on canvas, 73,4 x 117,4
Schloss Sans-Souci, Potsdam

Luca Carlevaris
Piazza San Marco with Jugglers
Oil on canvas, 73,2 x 117,2
Schloss Sans-Souci, Potsdam

Luca Carlevaris
The Molo with the Ducal Palace
c. 1710
Oil on canvas, 70 x 118 cm
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Palazzo Corsini, Rome

Luca Carlevaris
The Bridge for the Feast of the Madonna della Salute
Oil on canvas, 117 x 148 cm
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford

Genre Painting

During the 18th century, there was a tremendous amount of variety in the subject matter of genre painting, which usually represented scenes from everyday life. Such work often depicted the lives of commoners, including beggars, soldiers of fortune, and tradespeople. One of the most popular subjects was the depiction of women engaged in domestic tasks. These paintings were collectively known as bambocciate, or scenes of "trivial" subjects. An eye for exaggeration and the grotesque was often a characteristic of this style. Flemish and Dutch artists accounted for the majority of genre painters, and Austrian and German painters followed their lead. Many of these, working in Italy as well as in their native lands, were loosely connected with a group of bamboccianti painters who had converged on Rome during the previous century. Of the many practitioners of low-life and peasant scenes, certain painters stand out as exceptional; these include the Italian Giacomo Ceruti (c.1698-1767). who was principally active in Brescia. The English artist William Hogarth (1697-1764) dealt with similar subject matter, but his bitter and witty comments and his moral reflections on the society of his day place him in a different, more satirical artistic category.

Giacomo Ceruti

(b Milan, 13 Oct 1698; d Milan, 28 Aug 1767).

Italian painter. He was one of a group of artists working in Bergamo and Brescia who observed reality with an unusual freshness and directness. He painted religious subjects and portraits but was most distinguished as a painter of genre and low-life scenes. These included many pictures of beggars and vagabonds ( pitocchi), hence his nickname ‘il Pitocchetto’. He married in Milan in 1717 but settled in Brescia in 1721. In 1723 he received a horse in payment for three altarpieces and four frescoes for the parish church of Rino di Sonico; they were mediocre works executed in an unadventurous blend of Lombard and Venetian traditions derived from contemporary Venetian painters working in Brescia. Ceruti’s early portraits and genre scenes are less conventional and more intensely felt; in 1724 he signed and dated the strikingly naturalistic portrait of Giovanni Maria Fenaroli. Other portraits of local nobility, such as the Gentlewoman of the Lechi Family, may be dated to the same period. These eminent Brescian families showed some sensitivity to social problems, especially poverty, and were linked to religious currents close to Jerusalem.

Giacomo Ceruti
Seated Errand Boy with Baskets
c. 1736
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan Here.

Ceruti reinterprets Lombard realism, a style that had reflected the concern for the humble (as advocated by the Borromeo archbishops). However, true to the style of 18th-century artists, he focused on the picturesque and folkloristic aspects of working-class life.

Giacomo Ceruti
Evening at the Piazza
c. 1730
Museo Civico d'Arte Antica, Palazzo Madama, Turin

Giacomo Ceruti
The Laundress
c. 1736

William Hogarth

(b London, 10 Nov 1697; d London, 25–26 Oct 1764).

English painter and engraver. He played a crucial part in establishing an English school of painting, both through the quality of his painting and through campaigns to improve the status of the artist in England. He also demonstrated that artists could become independent of wealthy patrons by publishing engravings after their own paintings. He is best remembered for the satirical engravings that gave the name ‘Hogarthian’ to low-life scenes of the period.

An Election Entertainment
Oil on canvas, 100 x 127 cm
Sir John Soane's Museum, London
French Painting

French painting was largely dependent upon and centred around the Court, which provided the artists with commissions, support, and patronage. It adopted a graceful and voluptuous Rococo style that often coexisted with a concern for realism that was gained through a profound knowledge of the Flemish school. French painters were also influenced by the enduring academic tradition of the Bolognese and Roman schools, which they equated with a particular period in the 17th century, and the work of Nicolas Poussin (1596-1665).
The enchanting paintings of Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) set the agenda for the development of art in 18th-century France. The commedia dell'arte and masked performers are a recurring theme in the artist's work, reflecting his early career as a costume designer. The reception of his paintings was so successful that he was soon made a member of the Academy, and he became a specialist in the fetes galantes genre, which depicted figures in pastoral settings. Despite Watteau's sure touch and the frequently ironic and light-hearted nature of his works, there is an undercurrent of melancholy, a sense of the temporal nature of life and of pleasure in his most significant paintings. The idea of the fleeting moment is often the subtext of his pictures; for example, his work Embarkation for Cythera expresses a particularly fragile atmosphere. Of the French school, the work of Francois Boucher (1703-70) typifies the fullest expression of Rococo. A court portrait painter whose career spanned the Regency and continued into Lotuis XV's reign, Boucher captured the spirit of Rococo, and was responsible for propagating the Pompadour style. Respectful of the Roman academic tradition, especially after his stay in Rome. Boucher was also influenced by the Venetian school and, in particular, by Sebastiano Ricci. He was a faithful follower of the Baroque masters, and was known not only for his portraits but also for his landscapes, designs for porcelain, and tapestries, and his stage sets. Boucher represented an aristocratic and worldly approach to painting (he was known for flattering and even seducing his sitters), but the faithfully studied realism that stemmed from Flemish roots was still discernible in his work, as it was in that of his contemporaries. It was clearly evident in the work of Chardin, whose descriptive virtuosity in his portrayals of still lifes and bourgeois domestic scenes made him one of the most admired painters of the mid-18th century. Chardin's pupil, Jean-Honore Fragonard (1732-1806), in surprising anticipation of the Impressionist movement, captured the immediacy of his subjects via rapid brushvvork and a rich impasto.

Jean-Antome Watteau
Les Charmes de la Vie (The Music Party)

The English School

Although they were affected by contemporary trends, 18th-century English painters were openly anti-academic. Their work began to show signs of a Romantic sensibility during the second half of the century, especially in their tendency to place figures in the middle of wide stretches of landscapes and impart a greater sense of immediacy. Although the work of Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-92) shows a certain Rococo flair in his handling of subjects, the strength of his images lies in the subtlety and indeterminate quality of his portraits, the use of natural settings, and the suggestion of intimacy. The apparently cold and detached approach to portrait painting that is often displayed in the works of Sir Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88), is offset by his choice of attractive and enchanting settings, which are painted in a style that heralded the work of 19th-century landscape artists.

Thomas Gainsborough
Mr and Mrs Andrews

From Rococo to Neoclassicism

The architectural theorist Francesco Milizia documented his views of the Baroque style in 1785 in a savage indictment. He viewed it as already hopelessly old-fashioned. Under his definition of Baroque, much that belonged to High Baroque was mistakenly included. Rococo was already past its peak in central European architecture by the 1780s. In terms of domestic interior decoration and furnishings, best represented in France by the "Louis XV" style. Rococo was going out of favour in Europe by about 1770. In large European cities. Neoclassicism grew in popularity, and where taste was more conservative, there was a return to the academic-traditions of the Bolognese and Roman schools. The Louis XVI style in furniture, which became fashionable during the 1770s and 1780s, was characterized by ornately carved wood or stucco decoration. It was tantamount to a variation on the Rococo theme but with a preference for straight lines, a limited range of floral iconography and pattern, a more measured rhythm, and a new. less luxuriant repertoire of decoration. In effect, the gregarious, rich Rococo style gave way to a more austere and serious artistic sensibility. With gradual and various modifications, Rococo gradually progressed towards Neoclassicism with no discernible, abrupt break. As these stylistic changes took place. Francisco Goya exerted great influence on the direction of art. During his career, the artist witnessed the twilight of the age of benevolent despotism. His work was to prove pivotal for contemporary late 18th-century and early 19th-centurv art.