Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Les Liaisons Dangereuses: Research

This term at University, we are studying the french novel 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses'. It is a story of bored, rich French aristocrats in the late Eighteenth Century. I've decided to design it as a film, focused around the art movements of the time.

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The late eighteenth century saw the fall of the Rococo under the oppression of the Neo-Classic movement. The age of pink ruffles and child-like frivolity was dead, and society because more classical and toned down. The men wore darker clothes and the women wore looser, simpler gowns.There was a heavy influence of Greek and Roman mythology, and that's what I want to base my designs around.

The painting to the left is Fuseli's 'The Nightmare'. This is what I'm basing my work around in terms of colour and atmopshere. It's dark and dramatic, with warm, rich colours. I love the way the victim lays innocently, draped in white, with pale glowing skin, while surrounded by darkness. Helplessness and corruption are important themes in the text and that's a parallel I want to draw here.

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The starting point of any eighteenth century project is always a visit to the Wallace Collection. A preservation of eighteenth century art and interiors. When studying a time period, it helps to try and get a sense of what it was like, and this was definitely the place to do so. As soon as you walk in you are surrounded by lavish staircases and columns. The walls are covered in paintings and the rooms are filled with luxurious furniture and ornaments.You can immediately pick up on the grand nature of the time period. These people were extravagant.

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