Lecture Thirty Eight
French Art in the 18th Century
18th-century French art was dominated by the Rococo and neoclassical movements. In France, the death of Louis XIV lead to a period of licentious freedom commonly called the RÃ©gence. The heir to Louis XIV, his great grandson Louis XV of France, was only 5 years old; for the next seven years France was ruled by the regent Philippe II of OrlÃ©ans. Versailles was abandoned from 1715 to 1722. Painting turned toward "fÃªtes galantes", theater settings and the female nude. Painters from this period include Antoine Watteau, Nicolas Lancret and FranÃ§ois Boucher. One of the best places in the UK to see examples of French visual and decorative arts of the Rococo and neoclassical periods is in the Wallace Collection, a free national gallery in London.