French Art of the Eighteenth Century

French Art of the Eighteenth Century

French Art of the Eighteenth Century

French Art of the Eighteenth Century


This book, devoted to the arts of XVIIIth Century France, is the first in a series intended to comprise a complete pictorial encyclopedia of the plastic arts. The series will record the history of all the various art forms, throughout each period in their development. This will be achieved primarily through pictures--pictures illustrating a very large number of objets d'art, either singly or in relation to contemporary works, in order to clarify their significance, their purpose and their characteristic style.

The growth of styles can best be traced when a prodigal supply of photographic instances accompanies the text. This is the principle which has made the Connaissance des Arts series so successful abroad with the general SYSTEM. For it allows the pictured examples to speak for themselves, with various objects, periods, and styles defined in succinct captions alone, while each section is prefaced by a short introductory text, broadly setting forth the development of the particular art under discussion.

The volumes in this series will be divided into two separate, although complementary, categories. One will deal with particular periods (such as Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, the XVIIth, XVIIIth, XIXth centuries, etc.) the other will deal with the development of a specific art, over the course of several centuries: (including such diversified topics as furniture, ceramics, or goldsmiths' work).

The volumes dealing with individual periods are intended to define the style and essential characteristics of the age they treat. They will illustrate inter-relations between the various arts of a given movement, and will note whatever features the various examples share in common. The books dealing with specific arts will follow their development through the course of several centuries, setting forth the different types of decorative motifs employed, the evolution of forms and their modification under changing social conditions; and the invention and use of new techniques. In this way, the material available in one series will complement the subject matter in the other.

The determining factor in choosing XVIIIth Century French Art as the first volume in the series lay in the enormous wealth of artistic resources displayed in that century.

Precise examples have been used to illustrate in detail the ways in which forms developed during the period. Here the reader has a visual record not only of a succession of changing styles, but also of the thematic . . .

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