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"Bad Taste": The Politics of Interior Ornament in Rococo Paris with Belinda Scerri

Friday 24 Nov 2023, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

By the middle of the eighteenth century, critics of the “modern style” we now call the Rococo bemoaned interiors where ornament replaced painting, and where “the science of the brush had been forced to cede to the glitter of the looking glass”.  The key proponents of the new style were criticised for introducing bad taste in ornamentation and architecture alike.

Through an exploration of Rococo Parisian interiors and notable ornamental artists and architects of the period, this lecture will explore the profusion and, at times, confusion of decorative elements in Parisian townhouses.  It will consider these art forms as legible, critical ornament reflecting the political skirmishes and power plays that typified the régence court; and communicated France’s mercantilist and colonial aspirations.

BELINDA SCERRI teaches Art History in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. Her research examines critical ornament in early-eighteenth-century secular French architecture and decoration.  Belinda is a fellow of the Centre of Visual Arts and of the UCLA Center for 17th and 18th Century Studies.

This lecture is presented on-site at TJC. Please see your ticket for details.  NOTE: Tickets for this event do not include access to our exhibition-house, Fairhall. Guided tours of the current exhibition 'A Home of One's Own' can be booked separately.

This lecture is supported by The Colin Holden Charitable Trust.

Image credits (left to right)
Detail from The Galerie Dorée in the Hôtel de Toulouse, France (image supplied)

Nicolas Lancret (1690 - 1743), 'The Four Times of Day: Morning',  by 1739, oil on copper,  28.3 × 36.4 cm. Collection of The National Gallery, London, Bequeathed by Sir Bernard Eckstein, 1948 (NG5867)

Detail from The Galerie Dorée in the Hôtel de Toulouse, France (image supplied)

SOLD OUT This event is currently at capacity. If you wish to be added to the waitlist, please email or call The Johnston Collection on (03) 9416 2515 and we will contact you if places become available.