|Embarkation for the Island of Cythera, 1717,|
|Embarkation for the Island of Cythera, |
1721 version, Antoine Watteau
The most popular complaint regarding this and other Rococo paintings is that they are inherently "feminine", as the French critic Diderot lamented. An English critic, the third Earl of Shatesbury, claimed that looking at a Rococo painting was like looking at a woman's dress, making "effeminant our tastes" utterly setting wrong all judgements and knowledge of art. One can only surmise from this that high or "good" art is supposedly rational, sturdy, and virtuous (read masculine) like the academies and governments which supported such work. This male/female polemic would continue to taint art language for the next 200 years.