The Embarkation of Cythera

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Jean-Antoine Watteau, The Embarkation of Cythera, 1717
By ALEXA BIRT

The Embarkation to Cythera perfectly embodies of Rococo art. Watteau uses soft pastel colors, as well as his famed amorphous greenery, allowing the viewer to feel relaxed and at peace when admiring the work. With this in your house, you will experience tranquility and serenity, defusing stress after the inconveniences of the day. He also quite subtly uses cherubs, another characteristic of Rococo art, throughout the painting which implies a celestial nature.

The far right of the painting features three couples expressing their affection for one another. To give the viewer another inkling at the main theme of the work, Watteau uses cherubs throughout as a classic Rococo symbol of love. Another way Watteau implies romance is in the setting of the work, the island of Cythera as a part of the Ionian Islands in Greece. Cythera is known to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who is featured as a statue in the far right. By placing the piece at Aphrodite's birthplace, it symbolizes the creation of new love.

The Embarkation to Cythera would make the perfect gift as a wedding present for your beloved as it symbolizes your new-found nuptials. Placed next to the feet of one couple lies a black and white dog, sitting contentedly atop the small green hill. Dogs imply fidelity and loyalty, proving a ceaseless allegiance to one's beloved. Watteau's magnificent artwork will produce elation and the ultimate statement of status and love to you, the buyer.

Editor's Note: The authors were asked to write sales copy for Edme-François Gersaint, the prominent rococo art dealer who offered a printed catalog of available works.

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