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Evasion temporelle et fantaisie créatrice : usage des peintures du XVIIIe siècle dans les fictions romantiques

Catherine Thomas-Ripault

Published online:

30 Dec 2017



After 1830, many Romantic authors, inspired by the delicate and poetic paintings of the eighteenth century, endeavored to recreate their mood in novels or short stories. Through those pictorial representations, they imagined a blithe, refined, and dreamlike world, tinged with melancholy, allowing them to forget their own colorless time and express a degree of nostalgia for a bygone age. In the style of Rococo painters, however, Romantics also emphasized imperfection and weakness, gently mocking the ornate and frivolous forms the eighteenth-century artists played with. From their perspective, Rococo art therefore remained in an inferior position within the artistic hierarchy. Its singular forms, however, echoed their own quest for fancy and originality, and ultimately enabled them to depart from earlier Romanticism.

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