During the last years of France's ancien régime, an outpouring of creative activity and inspired patronage resulted in the production of brilliant and varied works of painting and sculpture. In Painting and Sculpture in France, 1700-1789, Michael Levey discusses the major painters and sculptors of this splendid period that opened with Watteau and the fête galante and closed with the revolutionary history paintings of David.
Levey discusses famous sculptors such as Falconet, Pigalle, and Houdon, as well as the lesser-known Coustou, Michel-Ange Lsodtz, and Caffieri: their often monumental work, says Levey, provides a salutary reminder of the seriousness of intent in an age often still stereotyped as frivolous.
Levey then analyzes the paintings of Restout, Vernet, Oudry, and others who were appreciated at the time at least as much as the more currently esteemed Boucher, and who were talented painters of portraits, genre scenes, and still lifes.
Bringing new insights and information to bear on the work of the great French artists and sculptors of the eighteenth century, Painting and Sculpture in France, 1700-1789 is at once beautiful and instructive.