Social History of Art

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18th 1700-1775

Tiepolo, Rinaldo Leaving Armida, 1742-45, Chicago, detail

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Tiepolo, Rinaldo Leaving Armida, 1742-45, Chicago, detail
In this detail, Rinaldo is shamed by fellow soldiers into abandoning Armida and recovering his masculine destiny as a warrior. Yet even here, Tiepolo cannot help contrast the older, bearded warriors flanking Rinaldo with the hero's perfect, youthful beauty and feminine elegance. Here we can see the triumph of eighteenth-century refinement, grace, and "feminine" beauty within the sphere of courtly masculinity, a trend equally visible in French Rococo painting by Watteau, Boucher, Lancret, and others.
Posted by Robert Baldwin on January 8, 2012 Full Size| Slideshow