Following the grandeur of Baroque, Rococo art is often dismissed as frivolous and unserious, but Waldemar Januszczak disagrees. In this three-part series he re-examines Rococo art and argues that the Rococo was actually the age in which the modern world was born. Picking three key territories of Rococo achievement - travel, pleasure and madness - Waldemar celebrates the finest cultural achievements of the period and examine the drives and underlying meanings that make them so prescient.
The final episode focuses on the Rococo's descent into madness. When you spend as much time as the Rococo did having fun and escaping reality, madness soon sets in. The 18th century is seen as the era of frivolity and enjoyment, but in an age of such decadence there was also the brutish satire of Hogarth, the mysterious masked figures of Longhi, the anguish of Messerschmidt and the depths of Goya's macabre genius.
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