nicole baccarella

Art History

Nicole Baccarella is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History with a minor in Human Development and Family Relations. Her thesis reflects her interests in feminist critical theory and the art of the Baroque and Rococo periods. After graduating from UCD, she will continue her education by pursuing a Masters in Elementary Education at Regis University. Her passions include art, education, and the human experience concerning both. Once she completes her graduate degree, she hopes to bring art theory and art history to her future classroom.



Fools In Love: Women of the Rococo and the Men Who Painted Them

In the paintings of Rococo artists François Boucher, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, and Jean-Honoré Fragonard, depictions of women fluctuated between virginal figures in states of undress and intoxicating vixens--emulations of Venus herself. This paper considers how women have been portrayed in 18th-century France by three male artists, and if the sexualized and derogative tones should be attributed to culture in which they were created or to the individual artists' personal views and relationships.

By analyzing portrayals of women in Rococo paintings, through visual analysis of pictorial symbolism and biographical information about the artists and the women pictured, this paper argues that this derogative narrative was multifaceted. These portrayals were not merely products of their time, but rather, a continuum of how women have been seen throughout history, highlighted in this one artistic timeframe.

This study demonstrates how art and society are shaped by male perception: even paintings that seem to celebrate women mock them, regardless of a woman’s actual status in French society at the time. In conclusion, this paper closely examines the relationship between 18th-century French society and the artists of the Rococo who portrayed women, a lens that is pertinent for analyzing a time period in which the male gaze held dominance.