Spot the old art movement in Disney cartoons

You don’t expect a museum known for its massive art collection from classical antiquity to Ancient and modern masters pay attention to cartoons of Walt disney like “Cinderella” or “Beauty and the Beast”.

On the contrary

A Metropolitan Art Museumshows that Louis XVI’s taste for the decorative arts (also called Rococo) seen at Versailles, reigned over the creator of Mickey Mouse.

Not Disney alone. The love of the King of France for extravagant ornaments at Versailles attracted 18th century painters who were fed up with the heavy and histrionic aspect of the 17th century photography that preceded them.

Daily Art, reporting on the Met show, noted how the flashy and whimsical Rococo style was linked to the American cartoonist famous for theme parks. Obviously, the less heavy-handed approach to 18th-century art style was designed for Disney.

You can see what Artdaily is calling Rococo“Colorful costumed court life embellished with lavish wreaths of flowers, delicate volute-like curves, soft pastels” almost everywhere in Disneythe resplendent movie scenes. How did I miss this?

“The beauty and the Beast”Illustrates the point of the Met show. Beautiful fantastic light dancing in a castle full of objects that seem to have come straight out of Versailles including an ornate candelabra, a teapot and a pendulum clock.

It’s as if Disney voluntarily took the frivolous gaze of the rococo painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolothe palace decorations, visible on the ceilings and walls, to give his designs a fluidity and a theatrical touch.

Like Tiepolo, Disney has pushed art out of its Baroque shadows in the bright light of the rococo movement rich in illusions rendered in airy and sunny colors.

When you see the candelabra, the teapot and the pendulum clock singing and dancing like magic in “Beauty and the Beast”, you know it’s not far from Tiepolothe ceiling painting that describes Apollo bringing the bride.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

When the Sun god races across the sky in a chariot drawn by white horses, winding winged cherubs on swirling pink clouds create the ascending effect in flight, isn’t that the very essence of the Magic kingdom?

Indifference to gravity and reality in imaginary worlds where acrobatic figures appear as light as clouds are commonplace in the work of both artist and the facilitator.

As the museum boldly points out, Disnéthe work of there is far from being the fruit of his imagination. As Art Daily puts it, the genesis “comes directly from the French Rococo.

It helps that the Encounter has a lot of rococo art objects on view to give exhibition goers a chance to see Versailles– as a decoration: I am thinking of a fireplace clock embellished in 1750 Paris by Jean-Joseph de Saint Germain.

The Met Show can make you imagine Disney studying objects like those in the museum’s collection while planning and sketching the sets for “The beauty and the Beast.”

With the Disney in mind, you find yourself imagining the museum’s ornate bronze clock or wall brackets, which probably once adorned a palace or castle, singing and dancing with Beautiful.

Indeed, the pendulum described by the encounter like “undulating volutes interspersed with floral motifs characteristic of French Rococo design at its most lively ”, also describes the palace furniture in“ Beauty and the Beast ”.

Who knew?

Lauriers at the Met for arguing that Disney is alleged castles in the air followed the beaten track of an old art Movement. In our crude world, art can use all the credit it can get.


Christopher S. Washington