Art style

‘Harley Quinn’ Season 3 Art References Everyone’s Favorite Rococo Painting Perfectly

Later this month we get the third season of Harley Quinn: The Animated Seriesand after the star To eat. Bang! Kill. Round by Tee Franklin, I’m so ready to see what the pair of part-time anti-heroes, full-time lovers have in store next. For the past two weeks, HBO Max has released a trailer and given us the firm date of July 28 as the start of the new season! Following this promotion, harley quinn showrunner (and writer on Abbott Elementary School)Patrick Schumacker shared key art (main promotional image) for season three, and it’s a reference to Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s rococo painting The swing.

The Swing by Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1767).
(public domain)

You can just appreciate the tribute as is, even down to the shoe flying through the air, but know a few details about the original and what has been changed to make it even cooler. In the late 1760s, a French court man commissioned Jean-Honoré Fragonard to paint a picture of him and his mistress. The nameless mistress swayed and he lay on the floor, staring at her skirt. While the boss specifically asked a bishop to push his wife on the swing, Fragonard only chose a random man, probably because he wanted to keep having customers.

The biggest difference is that there is no stealth. The artists choose to place Harley and Ivy side by side on an equal footing. Something I really like is that while painting classic erotica *wink wink* the imagery of French art such as flowers and maenads (similar to nymphs in clinging specifically to Dionysus), at the bottom of the pedestal there is no overt male gaze.

Besides no one pointing at Ivy’s dress, the cherub (or puto) doesn’t have a finger next to her mouth as if to say, “Let’s keep it low key.” Harley and Ivy are out, and they’re not hiding anything except maybe their secret lair. The cherub in The swing would be a reference to Etienne-Maurice Falconet, menacing cupid. (This time for King Louis XV’s mistress, Madame de Pompadour.)

Also, instead of a fluffy pink dress crafted by a member of the French aristocracy (which is peak luxury, as it’s about 20 years before the revolution), Ivy wears an ethically sourced dress made of flora and fauna. The Rococo style is not just in reference to Fragonard’s painting, but how well they kept the background lush and the spectacle of excess. The last time I remember seeing paint references like these in a big studio was during Ana’s song during Frozen. However, in the first Classics… but make it gayShouty created my favorite version of this with two black queer people

Jean-Honoré Fragonard's swing (1767) recreated in Frozen with Ana.  Picture: Disney.

(Going through Twitterfeatured image: Warner Bros.)

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