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Please wait as the photo is loading Click the photo you'd like to import, then click "Continue". Please select a photo. Cancel Set as Profile Photo. Are you a Vendor? Your recovery email is on its way! An email containing your password recovery link has been sent. In the 19th century, the term was used to describe architecture or music which was excessively ornamental. While there is still some debate about the historical significance of the style, Rococo is now widely recognized as a major period in the development of European art.
Lavishly decorated architecture had appeared earlier in the baroque period in the architecture of Francesco Borromini in Rome, Guarino Guarini in northern Italy, and in the extremely decorative churches of the Churrigueresque architects in Grenada and Seville in Spain; but Rococo architects took a different approach. The exteriors of Rococo buildings are often simple, while the interiors are entirely dominated by their ornament. The style was highly theatrical, designed to impress and awe at first sight. Floor plans of churches were often complex, featuring interlocking ovals; In palaces, grand stairways became centerpieces, and offered different points of view of the decoration.
The characteristics of French Rococo included exceptional artistry, especially in the complex frames made for mirrors and paintings, which sculpted in plaster and often gilded; and the use of vegetal forms vines, leaves, flowers intertwined in complex designs. The Rocaille style lasted in France until the midth century, and while it became more curving and vegetal, it never achieved the extravagant exuberance of the Rococo in Bavaria, Austria and Italy. The discoveries of Roman antiquities beginning in at Herculanum and especially at Pompeii in turned French architecture in the direction of the more symmetrical and less flamboyant neo-classicism.
Table design by Juste-Aurele Meissonier Commode by Charles Cressent , Waddleston Manor. Artists in Italy, particularly Venice , also produced an exuberant rococo style. Venetian commodes imitated the curving lines and carved ornament of the French rocaille, but with a particular Venetian variation; the pieces were painted, often with landscapes or flowers or scenes from Guardi or other painters, or Chinoiserie , against a blue or green background, matching the colors of the Venetian school of painters whose work decorated the salons.
Notable decorative painters included Giovanni Battista Tiepolo , who painted ceilings and murals of both churches and palazzos, and Giovanni Battista Crosato who painted the ballroom ceiling of the Ca Rezzonico in the quadraturo manner, giving the illusion of three dimensions. An earlier celebrated Venetian painter was Giovanni Battista Piazzetta , who painted several notable church ceilings.
The Venetian Rococo also featured exceptional glassware, particularly Murano glass , often engraved and colored, which was exported across Europe. Works included multicolor chandeliers and mirrors with extremely ornate frames. Juno and Luna by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo — Murano glass chandelier at the Ca Rezzonico Between and a large number of important palaces and chateaux were constructed in Germany and Austria, as well as abbeys, built by religious orders, which were intended as pilgrimage destinations and were sumptuously decorated.
They were frequently built by Italian craftsmen, or those who had been trained in Italy. One of the early creators of the rococo style was Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach , whose major works included the Schoenbrun Palace, and Karlskirche in Vienna which combined the grandeur and art of Versailles with that of the Italian Baroque. The Karlskirche featured an oval dome, lavishly painted, over the nave. Like many later rococo churches, it combined rococo in a framework of classical columns and pediments. While Vienna and Prague major centers of late Baroque and Rococo, impressive palaces and churches were constructed in the regions of Swabia , Bavaria , Franconia ; Dresden and Potsdam also became centers of Rococo.
A stairway with three ramps wound upwards toward a ceiling painted by Tiepolo. There the stairway was the central feature, taking visitors up through a stucco fantasy of paintings, sculpture, ironwork and decoration, with surprising views at every turn. The building was destroyed during the Second World War, but has been reconstructed.
Johann Michael Fischer was the architect of Ottobeuren Abbey — , the most celebrated Bavarian rococo landmark. The church features, like much of the rococo architecture in Germany, a remarkable contrast between the regularity of the facade and the overabundance of decoration in the interior.
In Great Britain, rococo was called the "French taste" and had less influence on design and the decorative arts than in continental Europe. William Hogarth helped develop a theoretical foundation for Rococo beauty.
Though not mentioning rococo by name, he argued in his Analysis of Beauty that the undulating lines and S-curves prominent in Rococo were the basis for grace and beauty in art or nature unlike the straight line or the circle in Classicism. Rococo was slow in arriving in England. Before entering the Rococo, British furniture for a time followed the neoclassical Palladian model under designer William Kent , who designed for Lord Burlington and other important patrons of the arts.
Porcelain figure, A lady"" from the Chelsea porcelain factory Please upload a photo. Proposed Chinese sofa by Thomas Chippendale — Rococo plasterwork by immigrant Italian-Swiss artists like Bagutti and Artari is a feature of houses by James Gibbs , and the Lafranchini brothers working in Ireland equalled anything that was attempted in Great Britain. In the second half of the 18th century, a reaction against the Rococo style occurred, primarily against its perceived overuse of ornamentation and decoration. Jana Leah marked it as to-read Jul 13, While there is still some debate about the historical significance of the style, Rococo is now widely recognized as a major period in the development of European art.
Kent travelled to Italy with Lord Burlington between and , and brought back many models and ideas from Palladio. Mahogany made its appearance in England in about , and immediately became popular for furniture, along with walnut wood. The Rococo began to make an appearance in England between and The furniture of Thomas Chippendale was the closest to the Rococo style, In he published "Gentleman's and Cabinet-makers' directory", a catalog of designs for rococo, chinoiserie and even Gothic furniture, which achieved wide popularity, going through three editions.
Unlike French designers, Chippendale did not employ marquetry or inlays in his furniture. Another important figure in British furniture was Thomas Johnson , who in , very late in the period, published a catalog of Roroco furniture designs. These include furnishings based on rather fantastic Chinese and Indian motifs, including a canopy bed crowned by a Chinese pagoda now in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Design for a State Bed by Thomas Chippendale — Proposed Chinese sofa by Thomas Chippendale — Design for candlesticks in the "Chinese Taste" by Thomas Johnson The art of Boucher and other painters of the period, with its emphasis on decorative mythology and gallantry, soon inspired a reaction, and a demand for more "noble" themes.
While the rococo continued in Germany and Austria, the French Academy in Rome began to teach the classic style. This was confirmed by the nomination of Le Troy as director of the Academy in , and then in by Charles-Joseph Natoire. Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of Louis XV contributed to the decline of the rococo style. He was accompanied by several artists, including the engraver Nicolas Cochin and the architect Soufflot. They returned to Paris with a passion for classical art.
He turned official French architecture toward the neoclassical. Cochin became an important art critic; he denounced the petit style of Boucher, and called for a grand style with a new emphasis on antiquity and nobility in the academies of painting and architecture. Blondel decried the "ridiculous jumble of shells, dragons, reeds, palm-trees and plants" in contemporary interiors. Rococo remained popular in the provinces and in Italy, until the second phase of neoclassicism, " Empire style ", arrived with Napoleonic governments and swept Rococo away.
The ornamental style called rocaille emerged in France between and , mostly during the regency and reign of Louis XV ; the style was also called Louis Quinze.
Its principal characteristics were picturesque detail, curves and counter-curves, asymmetry, and a theatrical exuberance. On the walls of new Paris salons, the twisting and winding designs, usually made of gilded or painted stucco, wound around the doorways and mirrors like vines. His work is well known today because of the enormous number of engravings made of his work which popularized the style throughout Europe. He designed works for the royal families of Poland and Portugal. Italy was another place where the Rococo flourished, both in its early and later phases.
Craftsmen in Rome, Milan and Venice all produced lavishly decorated furniture and decorative items. The sculpted decoration included fleurettes, palmettes, seashells, and foliage, carved in wood. The most extravagant rocaille forms were found in the consoles, tables designed to stand against walls. The Commodes, or chests, which had first appeared under Louis XIV, were richly decorated with rocaille ornament made of gilded bronze.
They were made by master craftsmen including Jean-Pierre Latz and also featured marquetry of different-colored woods, sometimes placed in checkerboard cubic patterns, made with light and dark woods.
The period also saw the arrival of Chinoiserie , often in the form of lacquered and gilded commodes, called falcon de Chine of Vernis Martin , after the ebenist who introduced the technique to France. Ormolu , or gilded bronze, was used by master craftsmen including Jean-Pierre Latz. Latz made a particularly ornate clock mounted atop a cartonnier for Frederick the Great for his palace in Potsdam. Pieces of imported Chinese porcelain were often mounted in gilded bronze rococo settings for display on tables or consoles in salons.
Other craftsmen imitated the Japanese art of lacquered furniture, and produced commodes with motifs of Japanese paintings. Clock-chest for Frederick the Great An encoignure by royal cabinetmaker Jean-Pierre Latz circa British Rococo tended to be more restrained. Thomas Chippendale's furniture designs kept the curves and feel, but stopped short of the French heights of whimsy. The most successful exponent of British Rococo was probably Thomas Johnson , a gifted carver and furniture designer working in London in the midth century. Rococo staircase in Gruber Mansion , Slovenia.
Integrated rococo carving, stucco and fresco at Zwiefalten. Sportive, fantastic, and sculptured forms are expressed with abstract ornament using flaming, leafy or shell-like textures in asymmetrical sweeps and flourishes and broken curves; intimate Rococo interiors suppress architectonic divisions of architrave, frieze, and cornice for the picturesque, the curious, and the whimsical, expressed in plastic materials like carved wood and above all stucco as in the work of the Wessobrunner School.
Walls, ceiling, furniture, and works of metal and porcelain present a unified ensemble. The Rococo palette is softer and paler than the rich primary colors and dark tonalities favored in Baroque tastes. A few anti-architectural hints rapidly evolved into full-blown Rococo at the end of the s and began to affect interiors and decorative arts throughout Europe.
The richest forms of German Rococo are in Catholic Germany. Palladian architecture is in control. Here, on the Kentian mantel, the crowd of Chinese vases and mandarins are satirically rendered as hideous little monstrosities, and the Rococo wall clock is a jumble of leafy branches. Rococo plasterwork by immigrant Italian-Swiss artists like Bagutti and Artari is a feature of houses by James Gibbs , and the Lafranchini brothers working in Ireland equalled anything that was attempted in Great Britain.
Elements of the Rocaille style appeared in the work of some French artists, including a taste for the picturesque in details; curves and counter-curves; and dissymmetry which replaced the movement of the baroque with exuberance, though the French rocaille never reached the extravagance of the Germanic rococo.