26 Facts About Rococo


Rococo, less commonly Roccoco or Late Baroque, is an exceptionally ornamental and theatrical style of architecture, art and decoration which combines asymmetry, scrolling curves, gilding, white and pastel colours, sculpted moulding, and trompe-l'œil frescoes to create surprise and the illusion of motion and drama.

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Rococo style began in France in the 1730s as a reaction against the more formal and geometric Louis XIV style.

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The exteriors of Rococo buildings are often simple, while the interiors are entirely dominated by their ornament.

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The main ornaments of Rococo are: asymmetrical shells, acanthus and other leaves, birds, bouquets of flowers, fruit, musical instruments, angels and Chinoiserie.

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Rocaille style, or French Rococo, appeared in Paris during the reign of Louis XV, and flourished between about 1723 and 1759.

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The characteristics of French Rococo included exceptional artistry, especially in the complex frames made for mirrors and paintings, which were sculpted in plaster and often gilded; and the use of vegetal forms intertwined in complex designs.

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Venetian Rococo featured exceptional glassware, particularly Murano glass, often engraved and coloured, which was exported across Europe.

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Rococo designed the furniture for Hampton Court Palace, Lord Burlington's Chiswick House, London, Thomas Coke's Holkham Hall, Norfolk, Robert Walpole's pile at Houghton, for Devonshire House in London, and at Rousham.

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The Rococo began to make an appearance in England between 1740 and 1750.

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Russian Empress Catherine the Great was another admirer of the Rococo; The Golden Cabinet of the Chinese Palace in the palace complex of Oranienbaum near Saint Petersburg, designed by the Italian Antonio Rinaldi, is an example of the Russian Rococo.

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Frederician Rococo is a form of Rococo which developed in Prussia during the reign of Frederick the Great and combined influences from France, Germany and the Netherlands.

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Rococo was accompanied by several artists, including the engraver Charles-Nicolas Cochin and the architect Soufflot.

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In Germany, late 18th-century Rococo was ridiculed as Zopf und Perucke, and this phase is sometimes referred to as Zopfstil.

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Rococo remained popular in certain German provincial states and in Italy, until the second phase of neoclassicism, "Empire style", arrived with Napoleonic governments and swept Rococo away.

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Rococo held the title of official designer to the Chamber and Cabinet of Louis XV.

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Rococo's work is well known today because of the enormous number of engravings made of his work which popularized the style throughout Europe.

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Rococo designed works for the royal families of Poland and Portugal.

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The most successful exponent of British Rococo was probably Thomas Johnson, a gifted carver and furniture designer working in London in the mid-18th century.

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Rococo's work included the sensual Toilette de Venus, which became one of the best known examples of the style.

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Rococo sculpture was theatrical, colourful and dynamic, giving a sense of movement in every direction.

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Rococo figures crowded the later fountains at Versailles, such as the Fountain of Neptune by Lambert-Sigisbert Adam and Nicolas-Sebastien Adam.

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Rococo preferred sentimental themes and made several skilled works of women with faces covered by veils, one of which is in the Louvre.

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Rococo period existed in music history, although it is not as well known as the earlier Baroque and later Classical forms.

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Rococo fashion was based on extravagance, elegance, refinement and decoration.

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The exuberant, playful, elegant style of decoration and design that we now know to be 'Rococo' was then known as le style rocaille, le style moderne, le gout.

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Shortly after the typical women's Rococo gown was introduced, robe a la Francaise, a gown with a tight bodice that had a low cut neckline, usually with a large ribbon bows down the centre front, wide panniers, and was lavishly trimmed in large amounts of lace, ribbon, and flowers.

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