Painted canvas, pastoral scene

Painted canvas, pastoral, provencal scene, trompe l’oeil frame, formerly re-lined.

The theme of pastoral care finds its source in ancient literature, such as Virgil’s eclogues. In painting, the pastoral evokes an idealized country world where ancient ruins, nymphs and gods often appear. The princes of the time can be represented with the attributes of shepherds or shepherdesses. Another reading can also seek political and sociological connotations. The pastoral care can be interpreted as the romantic refuge of court society. The Regent, Philippe d’Orléans himself engaged in drawing and engraving as an amateur, even participating in the revival of the genre by illustrating, in 1714, a reissue of Pastoral Love by Daphnis and Chloé de Longus. In the 18th century, pastoral care joined in favor of Rousseauist themes and took shape with Marie-Antoinette’s sheepfold in Versailles. Pastoral poetry abounds with political overtones which are as many critiques of power. Beneath its apparent simplicity, the genre conceals a hidden meaning that allows it to deliver, beyond its playful tone, a subversive message through allegory and metaphor. Pastoral work actually plays a political and social function: it subtly denounces in an inoffensive form the end of the reign of Louis XIV. In this sense, pastoral care carries an ideological charge and is a bearer of meaning and values. The success of the genre coincides with the growing contestation, orchestrated by the future Regent, by a society at odds with the reign of the old king, through a theme that sets out his aspirations for change by reflecting his vision of the world. The pastoral genre, which accompanied Philippe d’Orléans’s rise to power, died out soon after he came to power.
18th century,
Provence, France.

Height: 248 cm (97,6 in)

Width: 248 cm (97,6 in)

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