Paintings of the early 18th century were dominated by the rococo theme, which involved intimate subjects depicted in pastel colors. Near the end of the 18th century, this style gave way to more neoclassical paintings.
In 18th century Italy, a trade was established around tourist demands for paintings of Rome and Venice. Many of these paintings were of ancient landmarks. Tiepolo and Canaletto are examples of celebrated early 18th century painters.
French society moved from Versailles to Paris in 1715, and courtly beauty was a popular feature of many paintings during this time. The theme of pleasure-seeking men and women was often painted in pastoral settings. Interior art was also rich with sinuous curves and arabesques. Francois Boucher is one artist who exemplifies early 18th century French paintings.
During the last few decades of the 18th century, a rise of interest in archaeology developed, and with it came a rediscovery of classic Greek and Roman art. The straight lines and regular proportions of these two styles took the place of the curves of rococo. The French Revolution had a profound impact on the government system that supported the arts since the reign of Louis the 14th. New motifs were created that were more in line with the new political agenda.