From 1703 To 1739
The 18th century was a time of great change in the world of art. New styles and movements emerged, and artists began to experiment with new techniques and materials. This century saw the rise of the Rococo style, as well as the emergence of Neoclassicism. Artists such as Francois Boucher and Jean-Honore Fragonard were among the most famous of the Rococo painters, while Jacques-Louis David was one of the most notable Neoclassical artists.
Sir James Dashwood (1715–1779)
Sir James Dashwood, here depicted at age twenty-three, devoted much of his energy and most of his fortune to the building and furnishing of Kirtlington Park, visible in the right background of this painting.
The dining room from Kirtlington Park, with its masterful plasterwork decoration, is installed nearby.
Sir James Dashwood was a British politician.
The Wrathful Protector Mahakala, Tantric Protective Form of Avalokiteshvara
The ferocious aspect of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, Mahakala is shown in a flaming aureole, his six hands holding his horrific ritual implements.
Attending Mahakala are four yaksha "ministers" in red and blue, and below they ride a bear and a horse and flank the protector goddess Palden Lhamo on her donkey.
The celestial Buddha Amitabha presides, flanked by mahasiddhas and Gelugpa patriarchs.
The Wedding of Stephen Beckingham and Mary Cox
This is an essay in the fashionable genre of the conversation piece, a type of group portrait.
The setting is based on the church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, not the actual church where the wedding took place.
The Declaration of Love
These celebrated pendants exemplify a genre of painting known as tableaux de mode (paintings of fashionable society) established by de Troy.
Rejecting religious or mythological subjects, artists represented the latest interior decoration, clothing, etiquette, and social mores.
The Baptism of Christ
An artist of international reputation, Ricci left for England in 1711 or 1712.
This fine oil sketch is for the now lost decoration of a wall in the Duke of Portland's chapel at Bulstrode House, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire.
The facing wall showed the Last Supper and the ceiling, the Ascension.
In 1733 George Vertue praised Ricci's work in the chapel:"the whole a noble, free invention [with] great force of lights and shade, with variety and freedom in the composition of the parts."
Plate with landscape of the West Lake
This plate depicts one of the most famous scenic spots in China:Three Pools Mirroring the Moon (Santan Yinyue) in Hangzhou's West Lake.
The principal décor on this plate is a painting, calligraphy, and poetry.
The plate is further embellished with a poem on this scenic spot by the sixteenth-century poet Yang Zhou.
The fantastical subject of this painting has eluded scholars.
The woman holding dividers over an open book with diagrams has been identified as Circe or Melissa, but is probably a more generic sorceress surrounded by symbols of her dark magic:skulls, a bat, and a chimera (a fantastical winged creature).
The representation in the left foreground of a coati, a member of the raccoon family native to South America, is unique in early modern painting and was probably based on an animal living in a private zoo in Genoa.